Southampton FC

Southampton FC

Premier League • England

Southampton eyeing Chelsea repeat with Liam Delap phase one of double Man City raid

Man City boss Pep Guardiola with Liam Delap

Southampton are preparing to double dip in Manchester City’s academy for starlets Gavin Bazunu and Liam Delap in the upcoming summer transfer window, per a report.

Southampton are looking to acquire the services of Bazunu and Delap this summer. A double deal in that regard would closely mirror the business they conducted last summer when signing young trio Tino Livramento, Armando Broja and Dynel Simeu from Chelsea.

Bazunu, 21, has been on loan to Southampton’s rivals Portsmouth this season. By all accounts, he has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Delap, however, has been in and around City’s first team when available. The striker has had an injury-riddled season which has resulted in just three appearances off the bench so far.

The England Under-21 international will have his minutes reduced even more in the upcoming campaign as Pep Guardiola’s team will add two strikers to their ranks.

Both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez will be their new striking options after going a year without a recognised number nine.

Bazunu could yet be retained at the Etihad next season. Though with Zack Steffen Ederson’s understudy, his chances of minutes are incredibly slim.

This is where Southampton come in. According to a report from The Sun, the pair are on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s shortlist of possible targets.

This comes after veteran striker, Shane Long, is set to leave the club upon the expiry of his contract.

Fraser Forster is also set to leave the club unless a deal can be reached to extend his stay. The City pair are both young and have plenty of potential. They would also fit perfectly in Southampton’s vision of building for the future.

Just how good is Bazunu?

Bazunu has had a stellar season in League One with Portsmouth and has been the shining light within their team.

The Ireland international has played all but two of Portsmouth’s domestic league games and managed to amass 16 clean sheets. This ranked him within the top five in the entirety of the third tier.

He has also appeared seven times for his country, currently battling Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher for the starting position. 

This is his second full season as a first-choice goalkeeper after making his senior debut at boyhood club Shamrock Rovers.

Transfermarkt currently price Bazunu at a mere £540,000 which, for a player of his quality, is a steal.

Why do Southampton want Liam Delap?

Southampton’s starting striker, Armando Broja is set to return to Chelsea this summer but a deal is still in the works.

If Broja does return, the Saints will still look to acquire the services of another striker to bolster their ranks.

Che Adams and Adam Armstrong are both contracted to Southampton but the latter hasn’t lived up to expectations.

The 25-year old has only netted twice during the campaign which is a fall from grace compared to his years at Blackburn.

It is clear that Hasenhuttl’s vision is to prepare for the future. The squad’s average age is 25.6 which, ranks them as the fourth youngest team in the Premier League.

Delap would provide the Saints with another attacking option and would have the opportunity to showcase his talent on the grandest stage in football.