Fabian Delph has had as good a week as anyone can expect and it was concluded on a happy note with high praise from manager Pep Guardiola.
The former Aston Villa captain whose career at Manchester City never really took off was said to be on sale this summer as Pep wanted to cut down on the deadweight in the squad. The Englishman however, refused to leave Manchester for ‘greener’ pastures and vowed that he would fight for his place in the side for at least another season.
The midfielder was propelled into action due to circumstances at the club and showed immediately what he is capable of with a breath-taking goal against Crystal Palace.
He was rewarded with a place at left-back ahead of Danilo in the Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk and he impressed the manager so much that he kept his place ahead of Danilo for the match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Other than that he also received his first England call-up for almost two years and Delph will be jubilant.
Guardiola is delighted that the player has stuck around, despite the manager admitting he did not get enough game time last year.
“He has shown me and his teammates a lot,” he said.
“It is not easy when you don’t play for a long period and then when the manager gives you an opportunity it is to play a position you have never played before. It means a lot. Normally that happens when you are a good guy.
“There are some guys who just want to play their position but he is a guy who always wants to help. Last season he didn’t play but he still had a voice in the locker room. I’m so satisfied, so happy for him.
“When we make a training session or games, we always use him there. We go close to him and talk through the situation and some drills to be comfortable, and after with the ball – wide or inside- he has the quality.
“He’s not scared to play. Even when sometimes we are under pressure on the ball, he tries to play to give us an extra pass and let the opponent run. It helps us a lot to have these kind of players.”
However, in the aftermath of the Chelsea fixture, Delph has recently been withdrawn from the England squad after being assessed by the FA doctors. He showed no ill-effects after the Chelsea fixture so hopefully, for Pep and Man City, it is just a precaution.