Following a failed pursuit of Tottenham forward Harry Kane during the last summer transfer window and the exit of Sergio Aguero to FC Barcelona, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was left without a single recognised centre-forward.
However, many fans had hopes of seeing rising teenage striker Liam Delap make significant strides in his development within the first-team set-up, after impressing at both academy level and in a Carabao Cup appearance against Bournemouth last season.
Unfortunately, Delap has struggled this season with a variety of injury problems that has significantly hindered his ability to secure gametime at any level of Manchester City - restricted to a few minutes for the club's Elite Development Squad.
This week, Liam Delap has returned to full first-team training with the rest of Pep Guardiola's squad, as they look towards another Premier League clash this weekend - this time on the south coast, against Southampton.
While the game is likely to come too early for the former Derby County academy forward, he may have his eyes set on the upcoming FA Cup fourth round tie against Fulham on February 5th.
After missing out on the early stages of the Carabao Cup, the latter stages of Manchester City's Champions League group stage campaign, and an FA Cup third round tie with Swindon, Delap has unfortunately missed the large share of his available first-team opportunities.
However, he will no doubt be keen to take up any remaining chances he gets this season, especially considering Manchester City's keen desire to sign a marquee, top-level centre-forward in the upcoming summer transfer window.
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