Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph returned from injury and watched his side thrashed 4-0 away to Everton on Sunday evening. One of the criticism of the Sky Blues that day was their ageing side, having seven over-30s in their starting XI at Goodison Park.
A lack of industry in the middle of the park was evident with 33-year-old Yaya Toure partnered 32-year-old Pablo Zabeleta in a makeshift midfield pairing, but there’s reason to believe Delph could play a key role now he’s back to fitness.
Manager Pep Guardiola used the box-to-box player frequently before his injury earlier in the season and gave him a recent cameo appearance in the FA Cup which suggests he’s fast-tracking his recovery for Premier League duty.
What Delph would bring to the City side
The 27-year-old has industry in abundance and will cover every blade of grass in order to turnover possession. Fabian Delph is renowned for being a tough tackler and a willing runner in both thirds of the pitch, and such simple commitment and athleticism might be what City have been lacking in recent months.
Delph suffers from a deficiency of technical quality and composure in possession, but doesn’t overplay when on the ball. He’s more than capable of driving the ball from deep into the final third and has the pace to make up for the ageing midfield partner he’s likely to be alongside.
Guardiola seemed to take an earlier shining to him too, having played him in the Premier League and Champions League qualifiers back in August, and having him on the bench on the weekend suggests Delph is still in the reckoning despite his injury layout.
In a team full of creative players, Delph would provide the necessary substance to ensure City aren’t being opened up and vulnerable on the counter.
Versatility could see Delph deployed in several positions
With Delph boasting high levels of work rate, stamina and overall fitness, he would be a useful player in a number of positions. The 27-year-old is no slouched in regard to running speed either and would give Guardiola a lot of options either in the defence or midfield.
The left-footed player is capable of operating as a wing-back, left-midfielder and central-midfielder. His defensive attributes are sure to see him feature in the coming weeks for Manchester City, but this weekend’s clash might be too soon for him. Nevertheless, Man City are 11/10 to win against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening. Will supporters see much of Delph in the second-half of the season?
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