Aston Villa need five players like inspirational Fabian Delph, says former captain

Former Aston Villa captain bemoans the exit of Fabian Delph last summer.

Former Aston Villa captain Dennis Mortimer has told The Times he wishes the club had five players like Fabian Delph.

Delph quit the club last summer in highly controversial circumstances, days after pledging his future to the Villans.

He may well have been right to do so from a footballing perspective, even if the manner of the exit left a very sour taste, with fans branding him a snake.

European Cup winner Mortimer feels that despite this, Delph was an integral part of the team who the club have failed miserably to replace, in style or on-pitch character.

He said: "There’s no one in that team who will take a game by the scruff of the neck. The one player that Villa should not have let go was Fabian Delph. Delph was the type of player they needed, more so than Christian Benteke.

"He was an inspirational player, he played with his heart on his sleeve. He put everything into his game and he got his reward for that because he became part of the England team with some good performances.

"Villa need four or five players like that every game now."

An ability and willingness to get stuck in and deliver good performances each week and in frequent cases twice a week will be required in the Championship, and the current squad do not instil much belief that they will suddenly transform their mindsets and become ruthless winners overnight, rather than hapless losers.

A change in attitude is needed, which a new coach will be tasked to bring, but just as important will be identifying and securing players capable of making Delph seem like a distant memory, becoming new heroes.

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