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Fabian Delph

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Fabian Delph
Fabian Delph.JPG
Delph playing for the England national under-21 team in 2009
Personal information
Full name Fabian Delph[1]
Date of birth (1989-11-21) 21 November 1989 (age 25)[1]
Place of birth Bradford, England
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Aston Villa
Number 16
Youth career
2000–2001 Bradford City
2001–2006 Leeds United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2009 Leeds United 46 (6)
2009– Aston Villa 95 (3)
2012 Leeds United (loan) 5 (0)
National team
2008 England U19 2 (0)
2008–2010 England U21 4 (0)
2014– England 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:09, 28 December 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19:01, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Fabian Delph (born 21 November 1989) is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Aston Villa and the England national team.

He was on the books of Bradford City as a youngster until he moved to Leeds United aged 11. Having played 45 games for Leeds at League One level and once in the Championship, he transferred to Premier League side Aston Villa in August 2009 for £6 million. In 2012, he returned to Leeds United for a short loan spell. Delph had a successful start to the 2012–13 Premier League season, leading Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert to call for his inclusion in the England squad.[3]

Delph has represented his country at under-19 and under-21 level and made his senior debut in a friendly against Norway on 3 September 2014.

Club career[edit]

Leeds United[edit]

Delph with Leeds United in 2009.

Born in Bradford on 21 November 1989,[4][5] Delph started his career in football as a youngster at Bradford City.[6] Delph left City in September 2001 to join Leeds United after he was recommended to their academy coach Greg Abbott by former Bradford manager Paul Jewell, whose son played with Delph.[7][8] He went to Tong Secondary School, which he left in 2006 to sign a two-year scholarship with Leeds United, at the age of 16 years old. He completed his studies at the partner school to Leeds, Boston Spa School. In March 2008, Delph started his international career, making his debut as a substitute for the England Under-19s.[9]

After a string of impressive performances in spring 2007, Delph was made captain of the Leeds Reserves.[10] He was given his debut at Leeds as a substitute in the final match of the 2006–07 season against Derby County on 6 May 2007, a game in which Robert Bayly was also given a debut for Leeds, Bayly was sent off in the game for an apparent headbutt.[11] He was awarded his first professional contract on 11 January 2008, and made two appearances for Leeds in the 2007–08 season, both as a substitute.[12]

Delph impressed in the 2008–09 pre-season friendly against Barnet, earning praise from both manager Gary McAllister[13] and former Leeds player Eddie Gray.[14] He made his first League Cup start in Leeds' 5–2 win away at Chester City in the first round on 13 August 2008. Having gained more first-team experience, on 5 September 2008, Delph signed a new four-year contract at Leeds.[15] He celebrated his new contract by scoring his first senior goal the following day as Leeds defeated Crewe Alexandra 5–2.[16] He soon followed it up by scoring twice, both "superb goals" from long range, against Walsall during a 3–0 win.[17]

Delph's form attracted the attention of Premier League managers, with Arsenal's Arsène Wenger reported to be lining up a £6 million bid for the midfielder,[18] and Newcastle United having a bid rejected by Leeds chairman Ken Bates.[19] His performances also prompted Stuart Pearce to give Delph his first call-up to the England under-21 squad in November 2008.[20] He was a late substitute for Craig Gardner as England defeated Czech Republic to win his first under-21 cap on 18 November.[21] During the January 2009 transfer window, Leeds rejected another two bids from Premier League for Delph, with Bates saying: "We explained to both clubs that we don't deal in petty cash."[22] The following day he scored a "goal of genuine quality" against Brighton & Hove Albion by finding the top corner of the goal with a curling shot following a long run. Manager Simon Grayson said: "If he scores goals like that, his value is going to go up. It certainly won’t go down."[23] Despite the attention of Premier League managers, Delph remained with Leeds as the January transfer window closed.[24]

By March 2009, his performances during the 2008–09 season earned Delph a nomination for the League One player of the year, which was won by Leicester City's Matty Fryatt, and helped him to win the young player of the year in the end of season Football League Awards.[25] The awards for the 2008–09 season did not end there, with Delph winning young player of the season, goal of the season, for his strike against Brighton and player's player of the season at the club awards.[26] After Leeds lost out in the playoff semi finals against Millwall,[27] there was much speculation about Fabian's future at Leeds, however he did manage to play in Leeds' early pre season games, before ultimately Leeds turned down offfers from other clubs and Delph completed his move to Aston Villa.

Aston Villa[edit]

After Leeds failed to gain promotion from League One, several Premier League clubs including Everton,[28] Manchester City,[29] Fulham, Sunderland,[30] Tottenham Hotspur[31] and Aston Villa were linked with Delph. On 3 August 2009, Villa agreed an undisclosed fee with Leeds for the transfer of Delph to Villa Park.[32] The transfer was concluded the following day after Delph completed a medical and agreed personal terms.[33]

On 8 August 2009, Delph made his debut in a friendly match against Fiorentina, which Aston Villa won 1–0. Delph's full Premier League debut came at home against Wigan Athletic on 15 August 2009, the first day of the 2009–10 Premier League season. In a game that Villa lost 2–0, Delph received a yellow card and was replaced in the 61st minute by Steve Sidwell.[34] On 23 January 2010 Delph scored his first goal for Aston Villa in the FA Cup win at home against Brighton and Hove Albion.[35]

On 17 April 2010, Delph had to be carried away from training on a stretcher after picking up a "serious" knee injury. He was immediately taken for tests on the injury.[36] It was later revealed on 19 April 2010 that Delph had suffered a cruciate ligament injury, set to keep him out of action for up to eight months.[37]

Delph returned to action on 26 February 2011, in a Premier League victory over Blackburn Rovers, when he came on as an impromptu left-back after Nathan Baker was injured in the first half.

On 3 March 2011, Delph signed a new deal with Aston Villa keeping him at the club until 2015.[38] He scored his second goal for Villa against Tranmere Rovers in the League Cup on 28 August 2012.[39]

On 20 January 2012, Delph re-signed for Leeds United on loan, initially until 25 February 2012.[40] He made his second Leeds United début against Ipswich Town on 21 January. Delph picked up an ankle injury in Leeds' defeat to Coventry City and returned to Aston Villa for treatment on the injury.[41] It was revealed that Delph would miss the end of the season, so his loan at Leeds was not renewed and he returned to his parent club.[42]

Delph playing for Aston Villa in 2013

During the 2012–13 Premier League season, Delph established himself as a regular in Paul Lambert's side, finishing the season with 24 appearances. In the later half of the season, Fabian put in some good performances and began to show a good partnership with Ashley Westwood and Yacouba Sylla in the centre of midfield.

Delph started the 2013–14 season very brightly, and put in some of his best performances in a Villa shirt. In the 3–1 away win against Arsenal on the opening day of the season, Delph made a number of successful tackles and dribbles, as well as completing a large number of passes with a high accuracy percentage. He saw a long range, low driven shot from his favoured left foot hit the inside of Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny's left post, coming very close to his first Premier League goal. His good form continued four days later in a controversial 2–1 loss against Chelsea, and again the following weekend in a 0–1 loss against Liverpool. His first goal of the season came in a 3–0 win over Rotherham United in the League Cup third round. He played a neat one-two with Benteke, took the first touch to control with his favoured left foot and finished with his right within the box. His performances in the opening months of the season earned him the Aston Villa Player of the Month award for August, September and October 2013.

Delph scored for the first time in Premier League with "a goal of brutal brilliance" to complete a 3–2 win away at Southampton on on 4 December.[43] His performances over the season including stand out performances against Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea, resulted in him being voted Player of the Year by Aston Villa supporters.[44] After reports that he could leave the club at the end of the season due to his contract expiring, Delph signed a four-and-a-half year contract on 25 January 2015, keeping him at Villa until 2019.[45]

On 7 March 2015, Delph scored the first goal as Villa defeated local rivals West Bromwich Albion 2–0 to reach their first FA Cup semi-final since 2010. The victory prompted a pitch invasion by fans, who Delph claimed stole his captain's armband while kissing and biting him.[46]

International career[edit]

On 28 August 2014, Delph was named in the senior England squad for the first time, ahead of a friendly against Norway and the first Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland.[47] He made his international debut in the friendly against Norway on 3 September 2014, coming on as a 69th-minute substitute for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as England won 1–0.[48] Five days later, in England's first match of UEFA Euro 2016 qualification, Delph made his first start and played the entirety of a 2–0 victory away to Switzerland at St. Jakob-Park, Basel.[49]

Prior to his competitive debut for England, Delph was also eligible to represent Guyana through his ancestry.[50]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 16 March 2015.[51]
Club Season League[A] FA Cup League Cup Other[B] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Leeds United
Championship 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2007–08 League One 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
2008–09 League One 44 6 2 0 4 0 0 0 50 6
Aston Villa
Premier League 8 0 4 1 2 0 0 0 14 1
2010–11 Premier League 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
2011–12 Premier League 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
Leeds United (loan)
Championship 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Aston Villa
Premier League 24 0 2 0 6 1 0 0 32 1
2013–14 Premier League 30 3 1 0 1 1 0 0 33 4
2014–15 Premier League 19 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 20 1
Leeds United Total 51 6 2 0 5 0 0 0 58 6
Aston Villa Total 97 3 9 2 7 2 0 0 113 7
Career Total 150 9 11 4 12 2 0 0 173 13

Personal life[edit]

On 23 December 2008, he was arrested by police and charged for drink driving in Rothwell, Leeds, while driving home with four friends.[52] He pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates' Court to the charge of driving whilst over the limit; he was fined £1,400, disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay costs of £60.[53]



Aston Villa


  • Football League Young Player of the Year: 2009
  • PFA League One Team of the Year: 2009
  • Leeds United Players' Player of the Year: 2008–09
  • Leeds United Young Player of the Year: 2008–09
  • Leeds United Goal of the Season: 2008–09 (vs Brighton away)
  • Aston Villa Supporters Player of the Year: 2013–14


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External links[edit]