Delph’s Dramatic U-Turn
This week has been Manchester City make yet another signing, this time in the form of 25 year old English midfielder Fabian Delph. For a fee in the region of £8 million, Delph has left Aston Villa and his post of captain despite vowing to commit his future to Villa Park only days previously.
The transfer saga surrounding Delph has producing one of the most intriguing and eyebrow raising U-turns in recent footballing history. Odd, baffling, disgraceful, call it what you like but Villa fans will certain be left bitterly disappointed.
Signing for Aston Villa in 2009, the 1.74m midfielder has since seen an impressive rise in form and quality in recent reasons. Influential performances from midfield saw Delph reach his peak in 2013-14, form that he continued on into last campaign.
Such notable performances earned Delph his England debut against Norway in 2014 and saw him become Aston Villa captain. Immaculate skill, an impudent touch as well as the odd screamer saw Delph ascend higher and higher in the Premiership pecking order. Was he becoming too big for Villa?
Questions were certainly being asked this summer and as the curtain closed on the 2014-15 season, rumours began to flood in. The team in question proved Manchester City; the Citizens are looking to bolster their squad after losing their grip on the Premiership in 2015. Moreover, Pellegrini’s men need more homegrown players in order to meet their UEFA quota.
Fabian Delph seemed to fit the bill and would add an energetic boost into the City midfield, however would he move? The press began to hone in on the 25 year old’s discussions with ex-Man City right back Micah Richards whom was appearing to emerge as an oracle of advice.
For ten years (2005-2015) Richards had donned the jersey of the Citizens and warned Delph of the difficulties making the first team. City has an immensely talented squad brimming to breaking point with international expertise, concerns faced Delph as to whether he was good enough to challenge such players.
Furthermore, the cases of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair brought sinister warnings. Both were signed by City in 2012 as young, raw English talent to add to the championship-winning outfit. However, the pair were soon effectively expelled from the first team squads and their careers left off the rails.
Overall, Rodwell and Sinclair only ever managed 29 appearances in total during their tenures at the Etihad Stadium. Both have since moved on, to Sunderland and Aston Villa respectively, and pose as beacons that Man City can be a toxic environment for young English players.
As a result, Fabian Delph released a statement saying that we would remain at Aston Villa and would not be pursuing a career in Manchester. The club’s captain even went as far as delivering a short video message to Villans stating:
“And I am proving that there is still loyalty in football, I’ve decided to stay here (Aston Villa)”.
Since then, this short video clip has been the laughing stock of social media with subsequent events making the broadcast astonishingly awkward viewing.
Only six days after Delph had publically released statements such as “I’m not leaving,” and “I’m staying at the football club and I can’t wait for the start of the Premier League season,” he completed his move to City.
In one of the most bewildering ever transfers, the player went from going out of his way to definitively affirm information that he would comprehensively contradict only days later. This brisk change of heart simply came from nowhere and has left Villa fans utterly dismayed.
In the end, the 17th July saw Delph put pen to paper on a five-year contract at Manchester City for £8 million. His move saw the second transfer in a week carried out by the Sky Blue’s for an English player, Delph joining Raheem Sterling who left Anfield for £49 million. The ex-Leeds midfielder will wear the shirt number ‘18’, as used by Frank Lampard last season.
Even more incredible lies with the role of Micah Richards, Delph added upon signing: “Micah Richards told me that as far as he is concerned, this is the best club in the world and he had the time of his life here.” This sees a similar U-turn from Richards who had been believed to advise against the move given his own personal negative experience.
Overall, Fabian Delph’s transfer from Aston Villa to Manchester City has proved one of the shocks of the summer. Never before has such a dramatic change of mind been viewed, Delph categorically stated his loyalty to Villa before swiftly going back on his word.
The irony is that Delph has hurt the Villa fans even more by essentially lying to them and in such definitive fashion. The 25 year old went on camera to reassure supporters and even state how he looks forward to next year only to shatter that faith in an instance.
Moreover, the result remains to be seen as to whether Delph will even be a success at Manchester City or even feature in the team. If not, will the England international be joining Sinclair and Rodwell on the rotting scrap heap of young talent that brews in the shadows of the Etihad’s merciless turrets and would it be justice for his sly deceptions?
Kobe, YJA Senior Sports Correspondent
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