This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
The Athletic’s Patrick Boyland has suggested that Fabian Delph could be a key player for Everton this season after he impressed in the 3-2 win over Wolves on Sunday, and he’s right.
Fabian Delph arrived at Goodison Park in a £10m move which some consider to be a real bargain. He had failed to start a Premier League match prior to the weekend due to injury but his introduction led to a win and seemingly more of a attacking threat from his team.
The England international replaced Morgan Schneiderlin in midfield to slot alongside Andre Gomes, and the pairing helped the Toffees to 58.7% possession, with Delph’s 62 passes the most of any player on the pitch.
In his assessment of the match, Patrick Boyland wrote for The Athletic: “Delph makes a difference, both with his leadership and ability in possession. He’s got to be a definite starter in there now, for me.”
The 29-year-old is amongst Everton’s most experienced players with 20 international caps, and has also captained Aston Villa and England on occasion, which suggests Boyland is accurate about his leadership qualities.
Marco Silva’s side have dominated possession in all but one Premier League game so far this season, and therefore their failure to breakdown Crystal Palace and Aston Villa suggests they lacked intensity when on the ball.
Delph, by comparison, is a player who likes to drive forward with the ball at his feet and in doing so helps his team get up the pitch to support the forwards, thus given the opposition more to think about.
The former Manchester City player is more energetic than Schneiderlin and is able to get around the pitch at a faster pace, and it was his ability to press which resulted in Everton’s first goal against Wolves.
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Similarly, his presence in midfield should allow players like Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson to be more adventurous, and take up positions out wide to cross the ball, as the Icelandic did for Everton’s second goal on Sunday.
If he can stay fit he should be a very useful asset for Silva this season, and his versatility makes him a great option to have.