Fabian Delph has surely reached the end of his road at Everton after the midfielder’s latest injury sparks doubt over a potential return date.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Blues chiefs are resigned to affording Delph a greater period of rehabilitation than may normally be needed for a hamstring strain such as his, feeling the England midfielder’s previous string of issues will delay his return.
Delph has been plagued by all sorts of injuries since joining the Toffees from Manchester City for £10million in 2019, starting with a groin strain sustained during a pre-season friendly, followed by a hamstring issue in October that he aggravated in November before developing a muscular problem in December.
Sickness later sent Delph back to the sidelines shortly before the campaign was postponed, and the 31-year-old was not seen again at Goodison Park until September having featured just 20 times in his debut season.
Delph would have hoped to finally establish himself in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans when handed a second start of the Premier League term at Burnley on Saturday, but departed the action after just 29-minutes and now faces an unspecified spell out of action once again.
Ben Godfrey is expected to be fielded at left-back when Everton host Chelsea on Saturday with Lucas Digne out for up to three months following surgery on an ankle injury.
Delph’s time at Goodison Park so far can only be described as an unmitigated disaster for Everton, with Marco Silva and Director of Football Marcel Brands’ decision to sign the 31-year-old to an £80,000-per-week, three-year contract a call that will haunt the pair.
Everton have gained little more than nothing from their move to offer Delph a new home after a trophy-laden spell with Manchester City, as the former England international has spent so long out of action that he has never found a regular role to occupy.
Ancelotti signing two new central midfielders this summer in Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure only further hammered home the scale of Delph’s struggles in his search of a route back into the starting line-up, as well.
Now, as Ancelotti has no clear picture of when he may next have Delph at his disposal and the lack of trust the Italian must have in the 31-year-old’s availability, it will be raising question marks over how much longer Everton can afford to retain the 20-cap flop.
His injury could make finding a buyer in the upcoming January window a struggle but Brands must work toward a goal of finding him a new home as soon as possible, as Delph’s future cannot be in royal blue having offered so little for so much.