Sky Sports pundit and Arsenal icon Paul Merson has hailed Everton’s Fabian Delph as a player worthy of a place at a top-six club, while lamenting the talents of four Gunners players from his former side, as told to Sky Sports’ The Debate (via talkSPORT).
Delph joined Everton in the summer from reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in a deal which could reach £10m (BBC) if all potential add-ons are fulfilled.
He left the Etihad Stadium with two top-flight titles, an FA Cup and three EFL Cups to his name (TransferMarkt) and featured for England as the Three Lions reached the World Cup semi-finals in Russia last year, although he has been left out of Gareth Southgate’s latest squad for European qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
But Merson rates Delph extremely highly and has suggested the versatile midfielder should have been a player picked up by the Gunners in the summer, as he is better in the engine room than Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka.
The former England international also added that he would have been a suitable alternative at full-back, a position Delph played on 39 occasions for Man City (TransferMarkt).
“I look at him [Delph] and wonder why Arsenal didn’t sign him,” Merson said. “He is better than the midfield three that played against Tottenham.
“He could have played at left-back instead of [Sead] Kolasinac on Sunday. “I am a big fan of Delph. He can play in certain positions and is an excellent signing for Everton.”
Xhaka conceded an avoidable penalty during the North London Derby on Sunday when he slid into Heung-Min Son, and offered Tottenham the chance to double their lead from the spot prior to the break.
Delph, on the other hand, made his first Premier League appearance for Everton over the weekend when he started against Wolverhampton Wanderers (WhoScored), and at times looked like the Blues’ most comfortable player with his composure in possession one of the more standout aspects of his game.
The Bradford-born midfielder also makes fewer mistakes than Xhaka – the Swiss international has made more errors leading to goals than any outfield player in the Premier League since 2016 – so perhaps Delph could have been of use to the Gunners.
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