Fabian Delph has been given fresh hope of a late run into England’s World Cup squad by a visit to Manchester City’s training ground from Gareth Southgate.
Delph won the last of his nine England caps in 2015 but City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed his name was mentioned with John Stones, Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker in discussions held with Southgate on Friday.
Injuries prevented 28-year-old Delph from being part of Southgate’s last international squad but Guardiola dismissed the idea that his inclusion in Russia would be gamble.
Fabian Delph has been given fresh hope of a late run into England’s World Cup squad
Gareth Southgate visited Manchester City’s training ground and was given encouragement
‘Maybe it would be a risk if England don’t take him to the World Cup,’ he smiled. ‘Gareth Southgate was here, we spoke together about the English players in the team, he is delighted with all of them; John Stones, Kyle (Walker), all of them. Delph as well.
‘I would like to see Fabian Delph at the World Cup, of course it depends on Gareth, because I think he deserves it. He is a player who can play in different positions, when he plays, we always play good.
‘He helps us to play good football, to be better, to give an extra pass. And he has a good heart, he is a fantastic person.’
Delph was an important member of Roy Hodgson’s England team that qualifed for the 2014 World Cup before injury prevented him going to the finals in Brazil.
His career at City was similarly blighted until he switched from midfield to left-back by Guardiola.
Pep Guardiola has confirmed his name was mentioned among other World Cup hopefuls
Delph won the last of his nine England caps in 2015 but hopes to make a surge for Russia
Southgate believes Delph can offer different qualities to the other available England players thought it would still be unusual to take a player who has been in international exile for so long.
He is also understood to be a “good tourist” who wouldn’t sulk if put on the bench in the World Cup.
‘I think he is a guy for the group,’ added Guardiola. ‘He encourages the guys playing in his position. It is important for the balance of the dressing room to have good guys who are playing, and good guys who are on the bench.
‘And he is an exceptional player. Our dream for next season would be for him to be regularly more fit than he was in the last two seasons, especially last season. But we are going to try and work on that.’
Southgate is blessed with strong competition at left-back with Danny Rose, Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Young also in contention but Delph has an advantage in also being able to play in central midfield or wide in a diamond.
Southgate is due to watch Manchester City face Huddersfield today (Sunday) and will be hoping to see Delph in action.
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.