By Jack Gaughan for the Daily Mail
Published: 21:43 BST, 24 September 2020 | Updated: 22:19 BST, 24 September 2020
A 17-year-old who unusually combines brute force with finesse and pace has been the talk of Manchester City’s training ground for months. Now the word is well and truly out.
Liam Delap announced himself with a stunning goal on his senior debut on Thursday night. He is a fearless striker whose highlights are racking up the hits on YouTube and he is firmly in Pep Guardiola’s first-team group.
‘Believe me, he is a pain in the a***,’ one City source said with a smile, hours before Delap was leaving something on Bournemouth’s defenders. The young battering ram ended the night with a booking and a goal, which is Delap in a nutshell: doing the nasty stuff — then showing moments of genuine class.
Holders Manchester City needed a late Phil Foden winner to see off Championship Bournemouth at the Etihad
His father, Rory Delap, was in the Colin Bell Stand, a few yards to Guardiola’s left. A coach at Stoke, he had sneaked in on a scout’s pass. The Potters do not face Bournemouth until January.
His excuse for being here was fooling nobody, but who could blame him? Missing such a momentous night was not an option and he waited only 18 minutes for a burst of family pride.
Guardiola’s grin and applause were right in his eyeline as Delap Jnr perfected a knee slide in the opposite corner of the Etihad.
Phil Foden bagged the winner for City in the 75th minute after Riyad