It has to be said. Following City‘s destruction of Leicester. And the game before that. And the game before that. And the game before that. And the game before that.
Fabian Delph has been nothing less than magnificent ever since he stepped up to replace Benjamin Mendy following the latter’s season-ending injury. Unbelievably comfortable on the ball. Swift to the intercept, aggressive in the tackle, sweet in the long pass. Delph has been immense. It’s hard to believe that we were once looking at a bit-part player who in many eyes was odds-on to be off-loaded to Stoke in the last transfer window.
Delphino is now one of the first names on the team sheet and most City fans couldn’t be happier. The much-loved Yorkshireman has charmed everyone with his sense of humour and humility and that fabulous accent reminiscent of Mel B of The Spice Girls.
As succinctly pointed out in The Telegraph, Delph has now secured Pep Guardiola‘s trust at left back, the former Leeds and Aston Villa man having won everyone over with his confident displays against all-comers, including Italy’s finest, the much-feared Napoli.
Delph was particularly prominent and dominant in the recent stunning victory over Antonio Conte‘s champions Chelsea, and again at Burnley, it was Delph‘s sumptuous tackling that drew gasps of admiration from our own midfield enforcer Fernandinho. As a natural midfielder, Fabian has won effusive praise from Guardiola in recent weeks both for his ability to swiftly turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye and his automatic and almost preternatural understanding with Leroy Sane on City‘s left side.
Against Leicester yesterday, despite wonderful performances by KDB, Fernandinho, Kyle Walker, Ederson, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Sterling, Jesus and particularly by the dominant display of Vincent Kompany (who knew he could pass the ball so sweetly?) Delph again took the headlines with a wonderfully calm and composed display.
“He’d have come here as a midfielder. I think Pep likes midfielder players. I think he’d play a midfielder in goal if he could – he wants them all over the pitch! I think we were very close to getting Fabian here. We expressed a real interest and certainly he felt we were a very good option.
He thought very deeply about whether or not he needed to leave Man City and I think in the back of his mind he felt there was unfinished business. He wanted to give it his best shot to see if he could be a success. His attitude has allowed him to force his way back into the side, and he’s done okay. He’s playing a little bit out of position on that left hand side but can still impact the game in a good way and scored a goal the other week. Fabian understood we were very keen, it didn’t happen this time, but you never know in the future. Things change,’ Hughes said. ‘We’ve had examples where we’ve missed out on players before and we’ve revisited it, and they’ve ended up coming here.”
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