Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood reveals past efforts to bring Fabian Delph to Tottenham

The former Spurs manager was keen to bring the claret and blue star to White Hart Lane before leaving the club at the end of last season.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood is delighted to have a talent like Fabian Delph at his disposal but the former Tottenham Hotspur boss admits there was a time when he wanted to lure the midfielder from the West Midlands.

Sherwood was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend’s visit of Swansea, just a few hours after Delph was named in the England squad for the coming games against Lithuania and Italy.

After a stellar breakout last season, the midfielder’s future had been the subject of much speculation over the first half of this campaign, with his then-expiring contract prompting interest from Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham, per the Telegraph.

Sherwood himself was keen on Delph’s signature in the summer before leaving Spurs, even talking to his agent, but, having since been appointed at Villa, is now delighted that his star man showed such commitment to the club.

“Fabian Delph was certainly a player who was on my list [at Tottenham],” he said. “I remember bumping into his agent in London, telling him I’d like to take him to Tottenham if I stayed there.

“Obviously that wasn’t to be and Fabian decided to sign here, so in the end I did get to manage him.

“He had opportunities to go to a top-four team but resisted the temptation, wanted to show loyalty to his football club and wanted to pay back Randy Lerner’s faith in him when he was out with a cruciate ligament injury.

“He’s the sort of character I need when you're struggling towards the bottom of the division and he's willing to put pen to paper on a new deal. He will do for me!”

After his breakout 2013-14 campaign, Delph’s progress had been somewhat disrupted earlier this term, with the former Leeds United man missing eight weeks of action with a dislocated shoulder, before picking up a straight red card in just his fourth game back.

His form has been on the rise since Sherwood’s arrival, however, scoring his first goal of the season in the 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over West Bromwich Albion, while he has also been captaining the team in the absence of usual skipper Ron Vlaar.

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