Last summer Everton pulled off what looked a good value deal for Fabian Delph, signing the England international from Manchester City for a fee in the region of a reported (The Guardian) £8.5 million.
But some fans had fears that his injury record could not be trusted and, unfortunately, those doubters have been proving correct.
With Everton signing both Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure this summer, it appears Delph’s future at the club is already in jeopardy.
But could his versatility and ability in one particular position save his Everton career?
At Manchester City, Delph found himself turned into an extremely capable left-back option by Pep Guardiola.
“He showed us,” the City manager told The Independent after an impressive performance against Chelsea in 2017. “He showed us, he showed me, he showed his teammates a lot. It’s not easy when, for a long period you don’t play and, OK, a manager gives you an opportunity and play one position you never play before, in Champions League and here, so it means a lot, it means a lot for all of us and normally that happens when you are a good guy.
“Some guys, they only want to play in one position, ‘in the other one I am not comfortable’, so he’s a guy who always tries to help. Last season we didn’t play always with his voice in our locker room, so I am so satisfied, so happy for him. Especially for him.”
Delph did not disappoint in the unfamiliar position and it is his ability to play in the role that could see Everton decide to keep him on board.
The Toffees are without a genuine second-choice left-back due to the retirement of Leighton Baines.
Delph, who has not always endeared himself to the Everton fanbase, could easily act as the support act to Lucas Digne on a regular basis.
The 30-year-old could provide the perfect option on the bench and being a dual-threat might just give him the edge over other midfielders, such as Tom Davies or the perpetually injured Jean-Philippe Gbamin.
With him on the bench, Everton have cover for two important positions and when Digne needs to be rested, Delph could slot in seemingly as Baines has for the past couple of seasons.
The £8.5 million signing from last summer could end up solving a massive headache one year on.