A confusing week has finally reached it's conclusion as Fabian Delph joins Manchester City from Aston Villa.
England midfielder Fabian Delph has managed to perform a double U-turn in the space of one week as he finally signed for Manchester City on Friday for around £8 million.
Delph was expected to sign for the Sky Blues last week before publicly declaring that he would remain at Aston Villa this summer.
It has become clear that Delph had an £8 million release clause in his contract, and City’s willingness to meet that figure is what has triggered this latest transfer.
It was only on July 11th that Delph supposedly ‘set the record straight’ on his immediate future at Aston Villa with this quote; “I’m not leaving. I’m staying at the football club and I can’t wait for the start of the Premier League season.”
This chapter from the 2015 summer transfer window has certainly given a whole new meaning to the term ‘a week is a long time in football’. Exactly what the player himself was hoping to happen this summer still remains just a tad unclear, but one way or another he has now put pen to paper on a deal to join the 2014 Premier League champions.
The Leeds United academy product joined Aston Villa in 2009, and though it took him a few years to get going at Villa Park, he eventually went on the become an integral figure in the club’s midfield, scoring 7 goals in 94 games for Villa in the last three seasons.
His form has also seen him become an increasingly regular feature in the England set-up, having made his international debut back in September 2014, and has since gone on to win 6 caps for his country.
Delph can certainly expect to get a significant pay-rise at one of the richest football clubs in the world, but the odds are he will have to get comfortable on the Etihad Stadium bench this coming season. City have made it known this summer that they are looking to increase the number of English players in their squad, but their record of playing English players in recent years has left quite a bit to be desired.
Joe Hart has been a regular feature in City’s goal, but several others like Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and James Milner have all come and gone as they have sought to gain regular first-team football. At 25 years old, Delph has time on his side, but he will have a job displacing the likes of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho in City’s midfield, despite the fact that both players appear to be past their best.
Price-wise, this signing pales into insignificance compared to the £49 million City spent on bringing Raheem Sterling in from Liverpool earlier in the week, but it is nevertheless a sign that the club are serious about fulfilling their home-grown player quota.
How many games they’ll give to Delph however remains to be seen, and the onus is now on Delph to prove that this is the right move for him and his career progression, which won’t happen if he’s sitting on the bench every game.