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Everton: Rafa Benitez must unleash Fabian Delph against Arsenal

Everton will be looking to address their eight-game winless run when they welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park for their Premier League clash this evening.

Rafa Benitez has been coming under increased scrutiny of late due to the Toffees’ poor results and underwhelming performances, with former director of football Marcel Brands already departing the club.

The Merseyside outfit’s recent run has seen them fail to pick up three points since 25 September, scoring just five goals and conceding 17 in that period of time.

Injuries to key players have hindered Everton’s progress on the pitch, but Benitez’s inability to galvanise better displays has become a growing concern.

For the majority of the campaign, the Spaniard has set up in a 4-4-1- 1 formation, something that worked at the beginning due to Abdoulaye Doucoure’s tireless displays and the form of Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend.

However, with Doucoure still getting back to his best following an injury lay-off and the two summer signings struggling to find the back of the net on a regular basis, the time has come for Benitez to change things up.

Moving to a three-man midfield should allow for extra solidity in the Everton engine room, providing a more balanced foundation from which to attack, while also making the side harder to break down.

With Allan and Doucure maintains in Benitez’s starting XI, the 61-year-old must unleash Fabian Delph into the mix as well, providing his charges with the best opportunity to pick up a positive result.

In just his second appearance of the campaign, the £92,000-per-week Delph made an instant impact as a half-time substitute against Wolves, replacing the struggling Jean-Philippe Gbamin.

Should Delph start against Arsenal?

Yes, definitely!

Yes, definitely!

No way!

No way!

Speaking on the All Together Now podcast (as relayed by This is Futbol), Dave Vitty lauded the former England international for his second-half showing at Molineux.

“When they came out in the second half, the biggest change – or rather, the biggest lacking in the first half – was just graft and effort,” said Vitty.

“I know that they were light in midfield and Gbamin clearly isn’t fit; I mean, there was a massive hole there. Allan was running around trying to do everything and Wolves were just taking advantage of it.

“But I never thought I’d be so in awe of Delph’s arrival. I mean, it just made a huge difference but suddenly, there was some graft or some effort and they looked a lot better, but it was too little, too late.”

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Since then, Delph started in the 0-0 draw against Tottenham Hotspur – the only point Everton have picked up in their last seven outings – before being dropped to the bench once again last time out.

Nevertheless, his underlying numbers highlight his effective displays when given the opportunity to shine, averaging 1.6 tackles and one interception per league game this term, achieving a passing accuracy of 83.3% along the way, as per WhoScored.

It’s clear that Delph, therefore, has the ability to sure things up for Everton, and Benitez must now compromise on his preferred shape in order to include the 32-year-old from the off.

And, in other news…“My understanding is”: Alan Myers drops Everton DoF update that’ll have fans intrigued

Article title: Everton: Rafa Benitez must unleash Fabian Delph against Arsenal

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