According to the Mirror, Tottenham will test Aston Villa’s resolve this January by making a cut-price bid for Liverpool-linked midfielder Fabian Delph.
The 25-year-old is out of contract in the summer, with the Midlands outfit set to lose him as a free agent, unless they can secure a new deal in the near future. Nonetheless, with Liverpool and Tottenham among the clubs chasing his signature, this looks an unlikely scenario.
Reports suggest Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is ready to offer as little as £3 million in an attempted to lure Delph to White Hart Lane, with a part-swap deal for one of the London outfit's fringe players also a possibility. This is all part of an elaborate attempt to steal the midfielder from the clutches of Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool.
Spurs are ready to offload as many as six players throughout the upcoming weeks, with Aaron Lennon, Paulinho, Andros Townsend, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kyle Naughton and Moussa Dembele all expected to depart. Naturally, this will leave Pochettino thin on the ground in certain positions, including the midfield.
Delph has operated most commonly as a box-to-box midfielder throughout his time at Villa Park; a role in which his performances have seen him earn rave reviews. A combative worker, who demands possession before running into space, the Englishman has been touted as one of the league's best in his position.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have functioned with a 4-2-3-1 system, with two deeper-lying and one attacking midfielder. Of the holding-pair, Etienne Capoue has been relied upon to sit back, protecting the back-four, while Ryan Mason plays the role of Delph, operating from penalty area to penalty area.
|Team||Pass Acc (%)||Key Pass/ App||Shots/ App||Shot Acc (%)||Dribbles/ App||Tackle Won/ App||Intercept/ App||Aerial Won/ App||Apps|
|Fabian Delph||Aston Villa||85||1||1.45||25||2.36||0.91||1.27||0.45||11|
Delph's career at Villa Park has seen him grow and excel in this box-to-box midfield role. As the statistics suggest, his attacking contribution is perhaps more impressive than his exploits in a defensive capacity. Nevertheless, his work-rate and energy in the centre of the park ensure a sufficient level of support for his teammates.
Shackling him to his defensive duties would only restrict his influence on the game, while he would be hard pushed to displace Christian Eriksen, who continues to thrive as the focal point of the club's attacking midfield trio.
In terms of his all-round game, however, the statistics suggest Delph would offer strict competition for Mason, who offers far less than the Villa man in terms of technique and creativity in the final third. Defensively he doesn't quite match up, but Pochettino's heavy-pressing tactics would soon see his defensive stats increase.
For £3million he would undoubtedly be a fantastic signing. After all, he is a midfielder with genuine quality, who has the potential to be the star man for a number of Premier League sides. Aston Villa fans will be distraught to see such a talent walk free, but this could be a move that propels Delph's career to the next level.