Post by Everton News. on Sept 30, 2022 8:05:59 GMT
Delph announces retirement aged just 32 after career that saw him captain England
Fabian Delph has announced his retirement from football after a career that saw him begin at Leeds United, win the Premier League at Manchester City and captain England.
The versatile midfielder had been at Everton, whom he left in the summer following the end of his contract, having started his career at Leeds United, bursting onto the scene when the Yorkshire side were in League One. Delph's trophy cabinet owes to his time at Manchester City, where he was part of the club's centurion year under Pep Guardiola.
He also played for Aston Villa, where he spent six years. It was the Midlands club who made the jump and signed a highly-rated Delph from Leeds in the summer of 2009. Then just 19, he cost Villa £8m, and won the first of his 20 England caps whilst playing at Villa Park.
He announced on social media: "So today I announce my retirement with nothing but happiness and gratitude for what this beautiful game has given me. Massive shout out to my family, friends, players and staff from the amazing clubs I have been fortunate enough to represent as well as the support I have had from the fans."
Delph made his professional debut in May 2007 against Derby County, Leeds' final game as they were relegated to the third tier. It was their second year in League One which really saw Delph mark himself out as a key asset, scoring his first goal against Crewe Alexandra in September 2008.
Upon moving to Villa Delph, a raw young talent, was forced to bide his time under Martin O'Neill, whom the player labelled as a "superb manager". By the 2012/13 season the midfielder had begun to establish himself as a regular under Paul Lambert. Delph would go on to win the club's Player of the Year award in 2014 and 2015 - the only player this century to claim the accolade in successive years.
He would also win the first of his England caps in a clash with Norway in 2014. The highlight of his international career came four years later when Gareth Southgate entrusted Delph with the captain's armband in a game against the USA at Wembley.
Delph captained Villa in the 2015 FA Cup final, which they lost to Arsenal, and was later closing in on a switch to Manchester City. However he performed a u-turn and released a statement stating he was remaining in the Midlands. He claimed: "I can't wait for the start of the season and captaining this great football club."
Shortly after though Delph again changed his mind and signed for City in an £8m deal. Under Manuel Pellegrini he struggled to establish himself and was largely a squad player until the arrival of Pep Guardiola. Delph was not expected to be one of the big winners following the Catalan's arrival.
He was used sporadically in Guardiola's first year before Delph was deployed at left-back, an area where City had struggled with injuries, and established himself in the back four. The Manchester outfit enjoyed a record breaking year, claiming the title and the League Cup.
The following year Delph was less regular but played his part in City's domestic treble - a feat which had never before been accomplished. Guardiola said on his player that season: "Fabian is always a banker for us – and the other players know it."
In the summer of 2019 Delph made the move to Merseyside, joining Everton in a £10m deal. His three seasons at Goodison Park were hampered by injuries and he left having played just 41 times in all competitions.