By Sam Stone

18th Oct, 2022 | 6:57pm

Loan watch: Manchester City youngster Liam Delap must deliver more on loan at Stoke City

Manchester City youngster Liam Delap has endured a mixed start to life out on loan at Stoke City after heading to the Bet365 Stadium with a big reputation.

The 19-year-old scored 35 goals over a 36-game period for City’s under-21s side, as well as eight assists during the same length of time (Transfermarkt). With just one goal in his first ten appearances for Stoke, it’s fair to say the jump to men’s football is potentially proving a little too much for the youngster.

It’s not a surprise to see Delap struggling to hit the ground running. It’s a common occurrence for a younger player to struggle when making the step up to a more physical, pressurised and demanding environment. The developmental nature of under-21s and academy football can sometimes not prepare a player for a full stadium and fans demanding a performance.

Coming in as a highly-rated youngster was always going to be tough for Delap, but he still has to offer more due to his rather disappointing underlying statistics. In his ten matches, the 19-year-old has an expected goals of 3.02 (Wyscout) which puts him just inside the top 30 players in the Championship.

The leading players currently have an XG of 8.07 and 7.33 which is considerably more than the Manchester City man. When goals are hard to come by, getting yourself in good positions is key and he’s not quite doing that enough. Furthermore, Stoke rank in the top eight for expected goals, which means they’re creating a decent number of chances for their strikers to pounce on.

Delap’s 27 per cent shot accuracy is letting him down in the vital moments at present. Considering he’s had 18 shots so far this season, he should certainly have more than just two goals in all competitions to his name. It’s time for the 19-year-old to live up to his big reputation.

In other Manchester City news, Erling Haaland has been backed to smash the Premier League goal record