The England international had to work hard to make it at Leeds.
Leeds United have recently been living up to their reputation for producing top young talent with the likes of Charlie Taylor, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook and Sam Byram all first-team regulars.
Of course it is a reputation they already had with the likes of Harry Kewell, Alan Smith and Jonathan Woodgate all previous graduates.
When it comes to today's England squad they have former talents like Danny Rose and Micah Richards knocking on the door - and James Milner and Fabian Delph firmly entrenched in the England set-up.
The central midfielder joined Leeds from Bradford City in 2001 and went on to become one of the Football League's top talents at Elland Road.
Now his youth coach at Elland Road has spoken about Delph's time at Leeds. Neil Thompson told the Sheffield Star this week:
“As a young kid, Fabian was tiny and we always played him a year down. He was playing with bigger kids and they just outmuscled him.
“But what Fabian did is have a real belief in his ability. He suddenly took off at 17 and went with the first-team and was able to cope with it.”
He left Leeds for Aston Villa in 2009 and was not yet fully developed when he made the move, initially struggling in the Midlands and even heading back to Leeds on loan.
But he has excelled in the past 18 months - winning a place in the England midfield and a move to Manchester City.
Another product of the Leeds United youth system coming good.