COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds should scour the market for midfield alternatives after being named the bookies favourites to sign Manchester City’s Fabian Delph.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes made the Yorkshire giants the favourites to sign Elland Road academy product Delph, after selling him to Aston Villa back in 2009.
With the likes of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Fernando and Ilkay Gundogan ahead of him in the midfield pecking order at the Etihad, here are three reasons why Delph should be avoided at all costs.
Struggling with injury this campaign, Delph has managed to make just four appearances in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side. Constant groin problems saw Delph succumb to the inevitable and go under the knife to fix the muscle problem. That operation has seen him remain on the sidelines since August 24, and the midfielder could now be allowed to leave for the good of his career. Undoubtedly a top player, signing the Leeds academy graduate could prove a bad move by Leeds as he may spend more time in the physio room than on the pitch. Leeds’ top-ranking officials must consider that if they do look to buy him.
Money will be key
With a contract until the summer of 2020, Delph will not be allowed to leave City on the cheap following his £8million move to the Sky Blues from Midlands giants Aston Villa. Even if a loan move is tabled for Delph, Leeds will be expected to contribute to Delph’s pay cheque. Sheikh Mansour, who owns City, is known for his huge wealth and that is likely to reflect in Delph’s contract. TotalSportek claim that Delph is on a huge £90,000 a week, and Leeds would struggle to pay a decent contribution towards that.
Leeds currently have four in-form central midfielders that remain key in their fight towards promotion. Captain Liam Bridcutt and Ireland international Eunan O’Kane have been an unsung part of Leeds’ success since moving to Elland Road this summer, while former Benfica youth player Ronaldo Vieira has shown maturity beyond his years. Leeds academy graduate Kalvin Phillips has also shown great ability on the ball and from set-piece situations, and bringing Delph into that mix could disrupt the flow that the midfield quartet have produced throughout the first half of the Championship season.
In other Leeds transfer news, three reasons why this Derby star would be the perfect fit at Elland Road.