It has been a tough week for Villa fans, who found themselves faced with a scenario that has become all too familiar, with one of the club’s ‘star’ performers leaving Villa Park for what he thinks will be greener pastures.
Villa fans saw Fabian Delph once again commit his future to the club after being on the verge of joining Manchester City only for the England international to once again go back on his word and finally sign for the Citizens, only six months after claiming he was “proving there is still loyalty in football”. Villa fans are right to voice their disapproval at Delph’s actions, as the former captain lied to the fans who stuck by the player while he was ruled out by his injuries. A small number of reporters and former manager Paul Lambert have condoned Fabian Delph’s actions but the majority of the press coverage reflects rather badly on Fabian Delph, who has gone from fan favourite to the lowest of the low.
Another player who is extremely close to leaving the club is Christian Benteke, who has played a massive part in keeping the club in the Premier League for the past few seasons. After his first season, he wanted to move on and did things the wrong way. He submitted a transfer request and refused to join his team-mates in preseason training, hoping that this would lead to a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur. Villa fans didn’t react too kindly to this news, singing interesting chants while following the club in Germany. After the squad returned to B6, Paul Lambert convinced the Belgian to continue plying his trade at Villa Park and Benteke signed a new contract, which contained a £32 million release clause. Since then, Benteke hasn’t uttered a word about wanting to leave the club and all suggestions that he is headed for the exit came from his agent, Eris Kismet, and journalists.
Who will prove to be the bigger loss?
Finanically, it is obviously Fabian Delph. With such a low release clause for an England international, it was inevitable that the release clause would be activated in the summer. In the current market, English players’ values are inflated, which makes £8 million look measly. Despite this, Fabian Delph can be replaced, as he didn’t contribute as much as others would in terms of goal-scoring or assists. He was also a part of the midfield that was bulldozed by the Gunners in the FA Cup final.
However, in terms of the team, Benteke will be sorely missed, as if it wasn’t for Benteke’s upsurge in form the club may not be in the Premier League at this moment in time. It will be difficult for the club to replace Benteke’s goals. There is a rumour of Emmanuel Adebayor, a player who was written off at Tottenham before Tim Sherwood came into the fold, joining the Villans on loan but his unpredictable temperament leaves some fans nervous.
Fabian Delph’s departure leaves a void in the changing room and it leaves Tim Sherwood with a dilemma. Who will be the next Aston Villa captain? Fans are currently discussing whether it will be new signing Micah Richards or former Under-21 captain Ciaran Clark. Other than those two players, there are no natural leaders in the squad at present. With Sherwood broadcasting the idea that he wants to instil a ‘winning mentality’ in the squad, what could be better than having a Premier League champion in the ranks? This perhaps points to Micah Richards being the next Villa captain.
Both Delph and Benteke will certainly be missed in their own ways but who do you think will be missed more? Let me know by leaving a comment below.