Aston Villa forward Andreas Weimann has told the Birmingham Mail that keeping Fabian Delph from the clutches of Liverpool is a sure sign of the club’s intent to return to the big time.
Delph, 25, was set to be out of contract at the end of the season, and the likes of the Daily Mail had reported strong interest from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in recent months, amid suggestions that the midfielder was after a new challenge.
It came as somewhat of a surprise, therefore, when the England international penned a new deal until 2019 at the weekend, and Weimann believes the move shows that management are 100% committed to ridding the club of the malaise which has set in in recent seasons.
“It's what they're trying to do. Keep the players here and build on it and with Fab staying it'll keep us going,” he said.
“Fabian's not scared of anything, you see that in the way he plays.
"He's a really big player for us getting on the ball and keeping us moving. He showed it for England and us and we're glad he's staying.
"It's a big lift for the club, he is an important player for us and it's nice to see."
Weimann himself enjoyed a successful weekend, scoring his first goal in five months in Sunday’s 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round win over Bournemouth.
The Austria international’s season has been an indifferent one thus far, having netted just three times in 21 Premier League games, and he was more than relieved to get his name back on the scoresheet at Villa Park.
“It’s taken a while but it was nice to score again,” he said. “I’ve been playing on the wing lately and I had a header which went just wide [against Bournemouth] and I had a few other chances so luckily I got one in.
“It’s not nice if you don’t score and I was hoping one would go in, but I knew I can score goals and luckily it did.”