Three key passes, 86% pass-accuracy: Aston Villa's Fabian Delph strengthens his England place

The 25-year-old Villa skipper put in another encouraging Three Lions performance to help Roy Hodgson's side beat Slovenia 3-2.

Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph proved he belongs in the England line-up again on Sunday afternoon, as Roy Hodgson’s men secured a 3-2 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Slovenia in Ljubljana.

England found themselves 1-0 down in the 37th minute when a series of defensive errors allowed veteran striker Milivoje Novakovic to open the scoring, before Jack Wilshere answered back with a pair of stunning second-half strikes.

Substitute Nejc Pecnik looked to have snatched a draw for Slovenia with a well-taken header late on but Wayne Rooney’s 48th international goal four minutes from the end mean the visitors have now won all six of their Group E qualifiers so far.

Delph has started four of those victories and his latest performance served to further validate his place in the side, as the six-times capped Villain was a constant source of energy on the left-hand side of the pitch.

While the claret and blue skipper could have benefited from being more selfish with the ball at times, his positive and team-oriented approach proved crucial to the three points, as he knitted moves together with Wilshere and kept pressing forward with hunger and verve.

That influence came across in his statistics too, as the former Leeds United man recorded 81 touches of the football, two shots, a match-leading three key passes, two dribbles, three interceptions and completed 86 per cent of 70 passes during his 84-minute run-out.

 Vs Slovenia Total ShotsShots OntargetKey PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal Long BallsAccurate Long BallsTotal DribblesSuccessful DribblesInterceptionsTouchesMins Played
Fabian Delph 2 1 3 70 85.7% 9 6 2 2 3 81 84

Now established as one of Hodgson’s favourites, Delph seems to have a starting spot nailed down 12 months out from Euro 2016 and, if he can build on the form he showcased during last season’s run-in heading into next term, then there is little reason to think he cannot star in France.

He still needs to improve his end product and add more goals to his game but there is no doubt that Villa’s star man is a certified international talent.

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