It took some time for Aston Villa to see the best of Fabian Delph but, after a breakthrough 2013-14 campaign, the club’s 24-year-old midfield talisman has duly been rewarded with a much-anticipated England call-up.
Joining from Leeds United in August 2009 for around £8 million, injuries blighted Delph’s first few seasons at Villa Park, leaving some to question whether the former under-21 international would ever realise his undoubted potential.
However, the past campaign was something of a renaissance for the Bradford-native, as his 33 appearances earned widespread plaudits, and saw manager Paul Lambert tip him for a first senior call-up.
Now named as one of four uncapped players in Roy Hodgson’s 22-man squad for the upcoming matches against Norway and Switzerland, Delph will have a prime opportunity to impress with Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick and Adam Lallana all out injured, plus the international retirements of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
Villa supporters are evidently keen to see him succeed and, as the following reactions show, they believe his place in the side is more than deserved.
Delph deserves to be given a chance if you ask me, top player!!! #AVFC— George Ginn (@ginny335) August 28, 2014
Happy for Delph for making to the English squad. Hard work has paid off. Please now don't leave us at #avfc— Karan Khanna (@khaalbro) August 28, 2014
Anyone who's sceptical about Delph in the England squad clearly didn't watch him last season. #avfc— George Evans (@Geo_Ev) August 28, 2014
Fabian Delph in the England squad, thoroughly deserved he's top class !! #AVFC— Liam Humphris (@LiamHumphris1) August 28, 2014
Really pleased to see Fabian Delph has been called up to the England squad. Long overdue in my opinion... #avfc— Simon Tame (@simontame) August 28, 2014
Good lad Delph, thoroughly deserved call-up to the England squad in my eyes. The squad needs 'mixing up' regardless of opinions #AVFC— L3 Lion (@L3Lion) August 28, 2014
Long overdue call up for the humble Delph!! Top drawer box to box with excellent feet playing in a dire midfield. Grab you chance!! #avfc— Rory McDermott (@RozzaMcD) August 28, 2014
Happy for Delph, well deserved after the last couple of years he's had #AVFC— Steve Charlton (@scharlton91) August 28, 2014