Fabian Delph's Manchester City snub shows Aston Villa's stature, says Gabby Agbonlahor

The Villa skipper is set to remain in the Midlands for the foreseeable future after turning down a move to the Etihad Stadium.

Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor believes Fabian Delph’s decision to snub Manchester City is proof that the claret and blues are a “massive club”.

Agbonlahor was speaking to AVTV from Villa’s pre-season training camp in Portugal, which Delph has so far been absent from while he awaits the birth of his second child back in England.

The talismanic midfielder had looked set to complete an £8 million move to the Etihad Stadium last weekend, with a modest release clause interested into the new four-and-a-half-year deal he signed in January leaving the club entirely powerless to prevent him from leaving [h/t Telegraph].

However, the Villa captain made a sensational U-turn ahead of a scheduled medical, deciding to remain in the Midlands instead to help Tim Sherwood’s side in their bid to return to the top half of the Premier League table.

Agbonlahor was delighted to see his teammate show such commitment and adds that being able to hold onto “the best midfielder in the league” goes to show the stature of the club.

“It’s massive news for the club,” he told AVTV. “For me, he was the best midfielder in the league last season and, for us to keep a player like that, it just shows the stature of the club. Everyone’s really happy.

“It’s a family club and he’s getting that love off the fans and respect off the players. He’s captain of a massive club like Villa and, with the history that we’ve got, I think it must have played a role in his decision.”

Agbonlahor also stressed that he did not believe Delph ever wanted to leave Villa in the first place after committing his long-term future to the club last season, adding: “I’ve been speaking to him over the summer and he hasn’t even mentioned the club.

“He loves the club and it’s great to see him come out and put the record straight for everyone.”

With Delph now staying at Villa Park, the England international looks set to begin a formidably strong midfield partnership with new signing Idrissa Gueye, who joined from Lille last week for a reported £9 million.

Compared to Chelsea’s Ramires, the Senegal international arrives at the club having forged a reputation as one of the top emerging talents in Ligue 1 over recent seasons and Sherwood believes he will prove a great fit alongside his new skipper in the line-up.

"Idrissa is a good acquisition to the squad,” he told the club’s official website earlier this week. "He has the same energy as Fabian Delph, which everyone will be pleased to hear.

"If you can get two players who run around as much as them? I think the groundsman will have a problem keeping that grass on the pitch!"

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch