After a week containing a brace of U-turns over his future, Fabian Delph has signed for Manchester City.
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) July 17, 2015
The 25-year-old completed his medical today and has signed a five year contract with City, just six days after apparently backing out of the move prior to attending a medical last week.
It was always going to be a controversial move for Aston Villa’s captain, who had signed a four and a half year deal to stay with the Villans on January 25 this year.
This summer it emerged that there was an £8m buy-out clause in that deal and City activated it to the dismay of Villa fans who had hoped he would stay to lead their club in the run up to the European Championships in 2016.
With emotions high in Merseyside at the way that fellow new signing Raheem Sterling’s transfer saga was handled, it has been suggested that Sterling’s former club Liverpool’s subsequent move to sign Villa striker Christian Benteke by activating the Belgian front-man’s release clause may have been a major factor in Delph’s subsequent second U-turn in a week.
Delph took advice from former City player Micah Richards before exploring the opportunity to sign for City, and despite wavering last week, decided to take the chance to play Champions League football.
Speaking to City’s official website, Delph said:
“Every time I’ve played against City I’ve been chasing shadows so it’s going to be fantastic to have players such as David Silva, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero on my side now.
“I spoke with Joe Hart when I was with him for England and he was always been telling me how the Club has come on and what City are trying to achieve – and Micah Richards told me that as far as he is concerned, this is the best club in the world and he had the time of his life here.”.
The Bradford-born combative and mobile central midfielder will be an invaluable home-grown addition to City’s squad, bolstering their home-grown contingent for Champions League and Premier League.
He will also relish the challenge of competing for two for three central midfield berths alongside the formidable likes of Toure, Fernandinho, and Fernando while Nasri, Silva and Jesus Navas could be competing with Sterling for a place on the flanks.
It was also confirmed today that Delph would wear the number 18 shirt which was vacated by Frank Lampard while Sterling has been assigned the number 7 shirt vacated by James Milner.