A Tribute To Fabian Delph – Aston Villa’s Underrated Midfielder

Fabian Delph has always been written off as a lightweight, ineffective player, even during his time at Leeds – well, by me anyway. His slight frame and clumsy style of play has lead some to believe that he’s just not cut out for life at the top of football, but his fine start to the season has laughed in the face of those claims as he continues to lead the Aston Villa midfield with maximum  effect.

Paul Lambert’s side operated with a central trio in the middle of the pitch who press as a triangle and push up the field as a unit. Their positioning, their decision making and the urgency that they exude is all organised by one man, and that’s Delph.

Now with a wealth of Premier League experience under his belt, the 23-year-old has really blossomed this time out, completing 24/33 of his tackles and 26/35 of his take ons. Despite holding next to no physical presence, he has also won 13/22 of his headed duels, which has surprised some.

There looks to be more about the England U21 star this time round and the confidence appears to be gleaming. He has completed 82% of his passes and averaged four duels per game, and he is one of only a few who have played every minute of Villa’s league campaign.

While Villa work out how to transform their form from their away performances to their home games, here’s a clip of the club’s 0-0 draw at Hull recently. 

Statistics via Squawka.