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Why This Underrated Englishman Deserves To Start More For Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City

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Fabian Delph
Fabian Delph
Fabian Delph

Why Fabian Delph Deserves To Start More For Manchester City

Fabian Delph has come a long way since being on the verge of departing for Stoke City in the summer. He chose the tougher road instead, which was to stay back and fight for his place under Pep Guardiola. His decision has certainly proven to be the right one, if his recent performances are anything to go by.

His opportunity arose following Benjamin Mendy’s injury against Crystal Palace. Since then, Delph has seized every chance he has received, and the player truly deserves credit for the way he’s stepped up and filled the void at left-back. He did put in strong displays against West Bromwich Albion and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, but he was at his best against Chelsea.

It was his first start for City since April but Delph showed no signs of that on field. His contribution to the victory was a huge factor in Guardiola’s team’s statement 1-0 triumph. The way Guardiola deployed him created more room for Delph to operate in zones of the pitch that are very familiar to him. He played as a false full-back and the player truly shone, with his positioning being crucial in City being able to dominate possession.

His contributions were crucial in helping City build an extra outlet to bypass Chelsea’s first defensive line of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata. Delph was also quite adept at sauntering forward to draw N’golo Kante out of slot, thus creating space for David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne to exploit.

If his support to the attack was commendable, the way Delph defended was all the more extra-ordinary. The former Aston Villa star showed plenty of promise at the back as he effortlessly patrolled his designated area of operation with dedication. He made things tough for Cesar Azpilicueta by tracking all his runs. Delph was also constantly monitoring Kante’s well-timed surges, and chipped in with some tidy interceptions.

Even against Stoke City, Delph continued his brilliant form and it honestly seems like there is no stopping the player. Asked to play out of position again, it was another solid display from the midfielder operating as a makeshift left-back.

If he continues this stellar form, he could make things extremely tough for Guardiola once Mendy returns from injury. However, Guardiola should consider deploying Delph in his original position, especially after the way he has produced brilliant results going forward. His attacking instinct is quite strong, which does make a solid case for the manager to consider restoring him to what he is more comfortable with. It might still be too early but Delph has certainly made a strong case for himself as to why he deserves to start more often hereafter.