With the announcement yesterday that Manchester City have signed Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph, many are now asking whether Delph has the ability to command a regular first-team place for Manchester City or whether he will fade into a bit-part squad player in a similar vein to Scott Sinclair, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jack Rodwell.
Delph was one shining light in an otherwise disappointing season for Aston Villa in the Premier League last season as they flirted with relegation, before three victories in their last six games was enough for them to eventually end the season in 17th place on 38 points. A hardworking and combative midfielder, Delph has also represented England on six occasions, having made his debut against Norway in August 2014.
A move to the Etihad sees Delph likely to be in competition against Fernandinho for a starting spot in the Manchester City midfield. The statistics for both players from last season’s Premier League reveal that Delph could well be set for a starting role in Manuel Pellegrini’s team alongside the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure.
- Delph won 48% of attempted tackles through the season compared to Fernandinho who won only 36%.
- Delph made an average of 49.4 successful passes per game compared to Fernandinho who made an average of only 45.8 per game.
- Delph made an average of 1.2 key passes per game compared to Fernandinho who made an average of only 0.8 per game.
- Delph created on average 1.3 chances per game compared to Fernandinho who made an average of only 0.9 per game.
These statistics show that Delph outperformed Fernandinho in a number of key areas. Fernandinho did score three goals last season with Delph drawing a blank but with the amount of chances that a team such as Manchester City create, this is to be expected.
Compared to Manchester City captain Yaya Toure, Delph’s statistics also measure up favourably, with Toure only winning 30% of attempted tackles last season compared to Delph’s 48% and Delph creating 36 chances over the course of the season compared to 33 for Toure.
Historically Delph has suffered disciplinary issues through his career but he does appear to be improving in this area. Last season he only received one red card for a rash challenge against Sunderland but impressively did not receive any yellow cards throughout the season – exemplary for a midfielder in a team who were, at times, fighting for Premier League survival.
Many will feel that Delph is simply chasing a big pay-day by joining Manchester City but looking at the statistics, it is likely that Manuel Pellgirini may place his faith in Delph for the coming season and give him a starting place in the City midfield as they look to regain the Premier League title.