Everton must look to offload Fabian Delph at the end of the season after Carlo Ancelotti admitted he is “frustrated” by the midfielder’s injuries.
Via quotes by the Liverpool Echo, the Blues boss has vented his frustration at Delph’s string of issues that have kept the England international sidelined since the start of December.
Delph sustained a hamstring injury during the first-half of his side’s 1-1 draw with Burnley and missed Sunday’s meeting with Fulham due to fitness concerns, which had kept him from taking a place in the squad that beat Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup.
The £80,000-per-week midfielder had returned to Ancelotti’s matchday plans earlier this month when listed among the substitutes against Leeds United and Manchester United, and would have featured in some capacity against Spurs if included.
Ancelotti now hopes Delph will be fit to play a role in Wednesday’s Premier League clash with title-chasing Manchester City, as the former Sky Blues midfielder can help to ease the burden on those who have played frequently this season.
“He’s not injured again, but he has a little problem and is not fit 100%,” Ancelotti said. “The fact he had a problem in the past we want to be sure to put him in.
“He was on the bench the game before and during training he had a contraction of his muscle, not a big problem but he’s not available for the [Fulham] game. Maybe Wednesday he will be.
“Of course, we are frustrated because I think he’s an important player with a lot of experience. He could help us with the fact, in this moment, as in the game against Tottenham, I only had two midfielders.”
Delph has now missed 19 of Everton’s 29 Premier League and cup games through injury, illness or fitness issues this season after sitting out the Fulham affair, while missing 21 of the Toffees’ 38 top-flight fixtures last term.
The 31-year-old has also only started four of his seven appearances across all competitions during the 2020/21 campaign, as the £10m ex-Man City midfielder brought his total outings to 27 since being signed to a three-year deal under Marco Silva in 2019.
Delph is bleeding Everton’s majority owner Farhad Moshiri dry on his £80k-p/w deal, that has seen the Blues pay out almost £11m in wages over his 135 weeks at Goodison Park so far.
Everton are seeing absolutely no value in his signing with Delph costing the club, including the fee paid to Man City, £770,500 a game. He is also yet to score or assist a single goal.
Ancelotti must now see that Delph does not play into the third and final year of his current deal, and should urge the Blues’ Director of Football Marcel Brands to spend the coming months shopping the 20-cap international on the transfer market.
Time simply has to be up for the perennially crocked dud.