Stoke City manager Mark Hughes could finish the summer transfer window with a flourish as fresh reports from the Daily Mail claim they have revived their interest in Manchester City’s Fabian Delph.
Local news outlet the Stoke Sentinel claimed just last month that Delph was losing interest in a switch to Stoke but, with little interest from elsewhere, he’s warmed to the idea of a move again.
It has been made clear to the 27-year-old that he is surplus to requirements under Pep Guardiola in Manchester and it looks like a move away is needed in order to resurrect his Premier League career.
What can Delph bring to the bet365 Stadium?
It hasn’t been the easiest period of his career since leaving Aston Villa 2015, struggling to impress both Manuel Pellegrini and Guardiola and making just 40 appearances in two years of football since.
It has to be said though that injuries have somewhat plagued his time at the Etihad and, if he can regain a sense of confidence and a run of games in a strong Stoke side, he could thrive once more.
The England midfielder has always been the tenacious type in the midfield, more often than not coming out of a match with the most touches of anybody on the field, and he loves to get involved right in the heart of the game by looking to give his side the midfield cover needed to push forward.
Being utilised in a Stoke midfield, alongside the experienced Darren Fletcher, he’d be afforded so much freedom to influence the pattern of play in the opposition half and be able to dictate the play.
And this is where he comes into his own, looking for the short, intricate passages of play in and around the opposition penalty area as he looks for the more advanced attackers to make their runs and, considering Stoke have Jese Rodriguez and Xherdan Shaqiri in their ranks, this will not be in short supply.
Something that goes more under the radar with Delph is his excellent sense of positioning, whether that be in attack or protecting his defence, and this could be a vital asset for Stoke’s top-half ambitions.
Stoke City fans will have the right to feel a bit on edge and unsure about the speculation linking a move for Delph after a relatively torrid time in Manchester, but he has potential to be a smart and cut-price buy.
After all, you don’t have nine England caps without having a little something about you, and Mark Hughes is arguably the perfect manager to re-ignite Delph’s slumping career and raise his performance level.