The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern were delighted with Fabian Delph’s contribution to their club’s record-breaking 2017/18 season, but despite his impressive form there remain doubts over where exactly his long-term future lies.
Despite being a central midfielder by trade, Pep Guardiola bestowed the responsibility of filling in for the long-term absentee Benjamin Mendy on Delph’s shoulders last season. Plenty of doubters questioned the decision initially and believed Delph would ultimately be exposed in unfamiliar territory, but no such prophecy was fulfilled during the campaign.
The 28-year-old earned a place in England’s World Cup squad in the process and will be focussed on his involvement with the national team as the Three Lions prepare to face Colombia in a tantalising last-sixteen fixture this evening, but he may be forced to consider his future at the Etihad upon his return to Manchester this month.
According to a recent report from French media outlet Paris United, Adrien Rabiot’s mother – who is also his agent – has made contact with Man City and a host of other top European clubs in a bid to force a transfer away from the French capital this summer.
Rabiot (valued at £45 million by Transfermarkt) made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in May after he publicly refused to be on the standby list for a place in the France World Cup squad.
His attitude suggests he possesses an arrogance and lack of professionalism which will naturally give Pep Guardiola genuine cause for concern, but the ability he has shown at just 23-years-of-age suggests he may be willing to take a risk on the combative technician this summer.
Like Delph, Rabiot is a left-footed midfielder whose most influential contribution arrives in the middle and defensive third of the pitch, and there are plenty of similarities to be drawn between the two.
However, Rabiot would offer an edge in midfield which Delph would struggle to match on a regular basis, so the stand-in left-back of last season may find himself surplus to requirements and in need of a new challenge if City ultimately act upon his mother’s attempt to find her son a new club.
With Jorginho seemingly on his way to Manchester it seems unlikely that Guardiola would also bring Rabiot to the club within the same window, but with midfield options relatively spare and Fernandinho moving towards the end of his career he could be tempted by the opportunity to nurture a talent who could become a lynchpin of City’s midfield in the future, albeit, at Delph’s expense.
Man City fans – thoughts? Let us know below!