EDS & Academy

Delap surprised by rapid progress

Delap surprised by rapid progress
Liam Delap has admitted he was surprised at how quickly he progressed to Manchester City’s first team set-up.

The 18-year-old striker has made three appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side this season and enjoyed a dream debut when he scored against Bournemouth back in September, just 14 months after he arrived at the Club to begin his scholarship.

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Delap hit the back of the net regularly during his first season with the Under-18s and was one of several young players invited to train with the first team during the UK’s first lockdown at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

Injuries to senior players afforded the youngster his opportunity, but it was one which came far sooner than he could have predicted.

“If I am honest, no,” he said when asked if he expected to make senior bow this season.

“Even in the summer before I made my debut, I wasn’t expecting anything. During the first lockdown I got told I would be training with the first team and it carried on into the start of the season.

“It progressed rapidly. I wasn’t expecting it to be that quick.”

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With our early season injury woes behind us, Delap has not featured for Guardiola’s side since the FA Cup win over Birmingham City in January, instead returning to the Elite Development Squad (EDS) to continue his development.

His form for Enzo Maresca’s side has been nothing short of sensational.

The teenager has scored 20 times in 15 Premier League 2 games, which includes a remarkable run of 11 goals in his last six appearances, whilst he was also on target twice in the Under-18s’ FA Youth Cup win over Birmingham.

Delap feels his reaping the rewards of his first team exposure, which he says has improved the technical aspect of his game in particular.

“It’s helped me massively,” he added.

“They are the best players, to be learning from and training with every day as a young player coming through.  You look at Phil [Foden] as an example. He has been in that position and he is flying now.

“Being around them teaches you so many things and improves you to make you an all-round better player.

“It’s made my technical side of the game better. It is helping me do things a lot quicker.  Training with the first team you don’t get as much time, so it helps me think quicker.”

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