Having spoken of his delight at seeing Fabian Delph earn his first senior England call-up, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has revealed how he sees his midfield talisman fitting into the Three Lions side.
The 24-year-old was named this week as one of four uncapped players in Roy Hodgson’s 22-man squad for Wednesday's friendly against Norway at Wembley, as well as the Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland on Monday.
Believing the selection is a long-time in the making, Lambert maintains that Delph can go on to become a regular in the setup, and explained how he sees the former under-21 international fitting into Hodgson’s new-look side.
‘I think going forward and driving is his main strength. I don't think he's a sitter,’ he told the club’s official website.
‘I think he can drive with it. He should actually get more goals for the way he plays and we've spoken about that.
‘I don't think he's a Carlos Sanchez or Steven Gerrard type where he can sit and do that role. I think he's more of a “hit the box” type midfielder with his energy.
‘For Villa, Carlos will do the dirty work - the simple things - and let people go on in front of him.
‘Fabian will have the licence to go and do it and I think that's his main strength - his energy - which is there for everybody to see.
‘He's definitely better when he's driving into the box.’
|2013-14||Goals||Goal Assist||Total Att Assist||Total Tackle||Duel Won||Interception||Total Pass||Pass Acc %||Apps||Mins|
|Fabian Delph||Aston Villa||3||2||28||100||251||58||1,586||83.61||34||3,003|
|Michael Carrick||Man Utd||1||0||28||61||110||80||2,051||88.59||29||2,413|
|Tom Cleverley||Man Utd||1||0||10||48||89||34||1,137||89.62||22||1,579|
|James Milner||Man City||1||4||29||31||84||10||750||84.00||31||1,358|
With the international retirements of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, as well as recent injuries to Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick and Adam Lallana, Delph now has a golden opportunity to impress Hodgson, and Lambert is confident he can make the most of his first selection.
‘You have to get off to a start, there's no two ways about it, especially with the expectancy level on England,’ he said.
‘I know you've lost two players - Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard - that have carried it for years and years. Now it's time for somebody else to go in and do what those two lads have done.
‘I'd certainly hope that Fabian can go in and handle that. If you're going to go in and feel overawed by it all, it would be hard for him.
"He's earned the right to be there - everybody thinks you're good enough so it's up to you to go and show what you can do.
‘I think football, if you can't handle it mentally, can hurt you. I think he'll be able to do it. Now he's in there, it's the time to stay in. If he can stay in then it'll be great for him.’