Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph will have the chance to enhance his burgeoning reputation this weekend as the Villans travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.
The Villa midfielder has made huge strides this season and was recently rewarded for his stunning performances with international recognition with England.
While with the Three Lions, the former Leeds United star demonstrated that he belongs at the top level and has far outgrown Villa’s lowly position of 16th, just three points above the relegation zone.
The Red Devils, in contrast, boosted their top-four chances last time out with a win at Liverpool and will be heavy favourites to overcome Tim Sherwood’s struggling side.
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For Delph, one would assume that he has a tough task ahead in getting the better of United’s midfielders. Yet, according to the table provided by Opta Stats, perhaps that should read the other way around.
When comparing the Villa ace to United’s Spanish star Ander Herrera, Delph impresses immensely and comes out on top in as many as five key midfield categories.
The 25-year-old averages more chances created via key passes, tackles, defensive duel wins and ball recoveries than his upcoming opponent.
Furthermore, he is shown to be more precise in possession as he averages more accurate passes than the former Athletic Bilbao man – a big surprise given the United man’s origin.
One area where Herrera triumphs is his goal scoring ability, though playing in a naturally more attacking team, this is probably to be expected.
Delph has his backers, and interest in his services this summer is likely to be high despite the fact he penned a new four-year-deal at Villa Park, as covered by the Mirror, during the January transfer window.