If Pep Guardiola had any doubt that his Manchester City squad is in need of an overhaul, the events of the last week will only have strengthened his stance. Neglecting their duties to tumble out of the Champions League against Monaco before just about scraping a draw against Liverpool, City have performed well below expectations this season.
And, according to The Guardian, up to 18 players face an uncertain future including, alongside established, bonafide club legends like Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, sits Fabian Delph.
Injuries certainly haven’t helped the England international make his mark at the Etihad, limiting him to 37 appearences across two seasons, but the former Aston Villa captain rather sums up the questionable recruitment at City in recent seasons. He’s a solid player but one worthy of a team challenging for Premier League and Champions League crowns?
Therefore, with his career stalling, it’s tempting to romanticise the prospect of a return to his roots in the summer.
TEAMtalk reported in January that, despite Leeds’ second tier status, the former Leeds United starlet was tempted by an approach from Elland Road with his connection to his local team giving Garry Monk an advantage over Premier League suitors.
However, the issue is not whether Leeds could entice Delph back to Yorkshire, more whether they even need to. Dropping points against deep-lying defensive teams like QPR, Cardiff and Ipswich, The Whites need precision and vision rather than hard-work in the centre of their midfield to take the pressure off loan creator Pablo Hernandez.
They already have Eunan O’Kane, Liam Bridcutt and Ronaldo Vieira to provide the perspiration but is Delph, with five goals and five assists in 134 Premier League appearances, really the player to provide the inspiration?
Though a no-brainer on paper, Leeds and Delph hardly appear the ideal fit.