It was a sight to behold for any Manchester City fan to watch elite development squad youngsters like Liam Delap and James McAtee battling against Fulham in the FA Cup.
As the Premier League champions emerged 4-1 winners against the west London club, Pep Guardiola gave the pair a chance to show exactly why they are being hailed as future superstars.
Speaking after Manchester City’s victory at the Etihad Stadium, club captain Fernandinho sang the praises of Liam Delap and James McAtee, following their respective appearances.
“I’m not surprised – I know them very well, they’ve been training with us since the start of the season“, he opened.
The Brazilian continued:We know their quality and they show it every day and it is important for them to gain experience in this competition and confidence to play alongside these players..”
The Manchester City skipper ended his assessment of their performances on a high note, saying: “I’m pretty sure that in their future they will be part of this club. I’m so happy for them – and it’s just a shame Liam’s goal was ruled offside!”
Fernandinho’s words reflect how highly rated Delap and McAtee are within the club’s ranks, and their performances off the bench were an indication of their fantastic talent.
As the veteran said, it was a shame Liam Delap’s brilliant header was knocked out, given that his holdup game and physical presence ticked all the boxes needed to be a striker at senior level.
Another aspect that made his display all the more impressive was the fact that he returned from a long-term injury layoff looking as sharp as possible against the Championship side.
As for James McAtee, the 19-year-old’s technical ability shone through again, as he didn’t seem out of place for a second in the middle of the park, keeping things going while being extremely secure in possession.
With youngsters as incredibly gifted as Liam Delap and James McAtee starting to make an impression, it’s safe to say Manchester City’s future is in good hands.
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