Southampton: Teenage Premier League duo 'fit the profile' at St Mary's

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl calling the shots

Southampton targets James McAtee and Liam Delap fit ‘the profile’ of player Ralph Hasenhuttl is targeting, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

The Saints have been credited with an interest in the talented Manchester City teenagers and could look to bring them to the south coast this summer.

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In recent years, Southampton have adopted a transfer policy targeting highly-rated young stars who are unlikely to get many first-team opportunities at their current clubs.

That led to the arrivals of Tino Livramento for just £5 million from Chelsea last summer, while Armando Broja arrived on loan, and they have already repeated the trick this time around.

Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu has arrived from City in a deal that could rise to £15m if certain add-ons are met, with the 20-year-old replacing Fraser Forster between the sticks.

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And the Republic of Ireland international is set to be joined by his former teammate at the Etihad Stadium after Southampton agreed a deal to sign midfielder Romeo Lavia.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano revealed that a ‘full agreement’ has been completed between City and Hasenhuttl’s charges and that it will include a £40m buy-back clause.

What has Crook said about McAtee and Delap?

The Athletic disclosed back in May that McAtee and Delap were two other City youngsters who were on Southampton’s radar, and Crook thinks they could be an ideal fit.

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He told GiveMeSport: “You look at some of the young names they’ve been linked with in terms of McAtee at Man City, Delap as well; I think that fits the profile.

“What worries me slightly is, does that then leave you with a lack of Premier League experience? I think they’ve got to get the right balance.”

Would McAtee and Delap be good signings?

McAtee, a 19-year-old attacking midfielder, has registered 44 goals and 27 assists in 86 appearances for various City youth sides and was handed his senior debut by Pep Guardiola last season.

In total, the England Under-20 international has made six outings for the Cityzens and could be a valuable addition to Southampton despite his lack of experience.

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Delap has an equally as impressive record in front of goal, though, having found the back of the net on 45 occasions in 54 outings for City’s academy sides.

The striker, who is also 19, has provided a further 16 assists and has scored once in six senior games for the Sky Blues, indicating he could be the ideal heir for Broja at St. Mary’s.

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