Liam Delap to Celtic would still be genuinely exciting despite natural City Group cynicism

By John McGinley

June 11, 2021

I reckon Celtic supporters are a bit fed up with loans. Many are a bit fed up with the City Group. People want to see belief in our own core group of youngsters at Lennoxtown.

I perfectly understand that stance and sympathise with it in many ways.

However, sometimes a player comes along that can gleefully blow away much of that cynicism.

Over the years we’ve managed to get exciting spells out of players such as Patrick Roberts and Jason Denayer. Could Liam Delap be the next loan hero at Celtic?

An interesting opinion article popped up in the Manchester Evening Times today theorising that the informal link between City and Celtic could be reborn with Ange Postecoglou’s arrival.

Journalist Simon Bajkowski states that City place their youngsters out on loan with managers they trust. Postecoglou is highly-rated within the City Group, as we know.

Damian Willoughby, senior vice-president of partnerships at the organisation, told The World Game in April: “Ange is a phenomenal coach and has done an exceptional job at Yokohama.

“When Manchester City played Yokohama in a pre-season game at Nissan Stadium a couple of years ago it was not only a great game for a pre-season friendly but it was hard at times to separate Manchester City from Yokohama in terms of the style of play. He is one of the leading coaches in the world.”

Delap is mentioned in the MEN piece, not as a firm transfer link to Celtic as portrayed on other websites, but as a player who could be heading out on loan this summer.

Liam Delap is ready for senior football, Celtic are ready for new blood

The 18-year-old is tearing through the City Academy with enormous hype. He scored an excellent 30 goals in 24 appearances for their U23 side last season, earning himself the reputation of being the next great homegrown hope at City. [Transfermarkt]

He’s already on the fringes of Pep Guardiola’s first-team, earning senior appearances against Birmingham, Bournemouth and Leicester last year. He’s ready for the next step.

It just so happens that Celtic badly need attacking options this coming season.

Liam Delap in action for Man City / (Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Everyone knows it’s preferable to sign our own players, but when you consider the scale of our rebuild this summer then loan signings are inevitable. They’re not to be feared if it’s for the right player.

Delap could serve a fine apprenticeship in a senior set-up under Postecoglou next season, who has already gone on the record that he wants to play more young players at Celtic.

With Edouard on the verge of an exit, Albian Ajeti miles off the pace and Leigh Griffiths’ future unknown – Delap could bring the kind of energy and goalscoring ability we need in the short-term.

I’m all for it if City are game.

In other news, Hurricane Ange is about to fundamentally change Celtic.