Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph would be a perfect fit for West Ham and it is likely he will be available on a free transfer in the summer.
The 25-year-old is understood to have told Villa that he has no plans to sign a new contract and is now set to leave the club at the end of the season when his current deal expires. Paul Lambert is adamant the player won’t be sold in January as he could be key to helping the side retain their Premier League status and this means he will be one of the most sought after free agents next June.
Delph was Villa’s player of the year for 2013/14 and he has recently broken into Roy Hodgson’s England set-up, too. He is a very neat, tidy footballer that is also quick across the ground and strong in the tackle.
He’d be a perfect fit in Sam Allardyce’s diamond formation, either in a holding role or on the left. His passing range and bursts through the middle of the park are probably his best attributes, he likes to go on marauding runs forward but he also has the ability to make key interceptions.
The Villa man has only made seven appearances this season after suffering a shoulder injury, but last term, in 34 matches, he scored three goals, made two assists and created 28 chances. He generally has a great passing accuracy too (84% last campaign), which would bode well for the way the Hammers are currently looking to play.
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With the future of Barcelona loanee Alex Song still uncertain, Delph would be a very cheap alternative. The two players are not in the same league in terms of quality but the Irons could do a lot worse than to turn to Delph.
Song has been hugely impressive in the opening stages of his spell in east London and it may be ambitious to think the club can convince him to stay if they don’t end up in a Champions League place come the end of the season.
Delph, on the other hand, could be persuaded to join a team clearly on the up and may even thrive playing in such an attack-minded side week-in week-out.
Morgan Amalfitano is another in on-loan and Delph is perhaps a more adequate replacement for him rather than Song, though the club probably have more chance of capturing the Frenchman on a permanent basis.
West Ham may face tough competition for the player’s signature as Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham are all thought to be interested. However, the Hammers are at present on course for a top-six finish at the least, which would mean Europa League football and a bigger incentive for players to join the club.
A freebie such as Delph would be a shrewd acquisition and help bring further strength-in-depth to the squad – which will be a necessity if they are to be playing in Europe next season.
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