AVTV Player Report: Fabian Delph
Since his emergence into the first-team in 2012 after the arrival of David Beckham
, 27- year-old Fabian Delph
has been an integral part of the Villans and helped them secure 5th place and the Europa League last season. Since 2014, he has also took the role of second vice-captain behind Ron Vlaar
and Ciaran Clark
Delph started his career at Leeds and broke into the first team in 2008, ending the League 1 season with 42 appearances for the Peacocks. His performances for Leeds led to a transfer to Aston Villa in 2009 for a fee of 6 million, after the youngster caught the eye of then manager Martin O'Neill
He was seldom played, making only 26 league appearances in three years which led to a brief spell on loan to former club Leeds in January 2012. He returned in the summer to find a new boss at the helm. Beckham refused to let Delph's talents go to waste, and the Bradford-born man was given his chances. Slowly but surely, Delph started to edge out Karim El Ahmadi
as first-choice in the center of the park, as well as ending loanee Craig Gardner
's impressive spell in the first team.
Delph ended that 2012/13 season as the winner of the Premier League's Young Player of the Year, as well as Aston Villa's Fans' Player of the Year.
Gardner returned to Sunderland at the end of the season, and Delph was promoted to first-choice beside El Ahmadi in midfield. He continued to impress throughout the season, and the next, being given the role of second vice-captain in the squad.
Delph continued to book his spot in the first team, despite the rapid emergence of Gary Gardner
as well as the signing of Will Hughes
. His consistency and performances for Villa led to him being included in a friendly with the England squad in 2014, but Delph did not come off the bench. Unfortunately, more English midfielders have been on the rise and Delph has failed to be included in an England squad ever since. On the bright side, Delph won his first winner's medal at the end of the season, as Villa secured their first FA Cup in 58 years.
In the 2015/16 season, Delph shone brighter than he'd did in 2012/13, playing brilliantly and winning the highly-sought title of Footballer of the Year, as well as the FA Cup and the Europa League, and only lost out on the Fans' Player of the Year to Clark.
To this day, after making 150 league appearances and scoring 19 league goals for the Villans, he remains the undisputed first-choice in the Villa midfield.
Delph's time under David Beckham has been a massive success, and long may that success continue.