Everton: £80,000 p/w man emerges as an unlikely solution to the midfield problem

Everton (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images) /

Fabian Delph could still be an important part of Rafa Benitez’s plans IF he manages to stay fit

The Englishman operated in the engine room with great aplomb and looked in his element – neat on the ball and threading passes with precision. Delph recorded a pass accuracy of 87% and threaded 10 long balls with 80% accuracy, the most by any outfield player on the pitch. On the defensive side, Delph won four duels, attempted and won three tackles, made two important interceptions and a total of six recoveries.

Not to forget he racked up all these stats in just 60 minutes of play as Benitez brought off the Yorkshire man, perhaps, it was the right decision not to overwork the player who has just returned from another lengthy injury.

Doucoure is expected to be back after the international break and will take his place in the midfield alongside his partner in crime, Allan. But, can Delph be entrusted to be an important squad option over the likes of Andre Gomes and Gbamin who have been inconsistent and struggled with their own injury niggles? The experience and skill set that Delph brings to the table is unmatched but his qualities have been often eclipsed by his terrible run of injuries.

His deal is expiring in the summer and chances of renewal are extremely dim at the moment. For over two and a half years he has been seen as a liability but this is his chance to redeem himself and bow out with his head held high, winning over the support of Goodison faithful.

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Of course, that will only be possible if Delph manages to maintain his match fitness and remain in contention for selection. If misfortune strikes on him again, he’ll just go down as a bad piece of transfer business in the Farhad Moshiri era. But, Everton and Delph, both the camps will be wishing for a better conclusion.