At the end of last season Everton saw an exodus of players whose contracts ended or were released by the club. One of those players was Fabian Delph and in a somewhat surprising turn of events, he has announced his retirement on his Instagram account.
“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 started his career at Bradford before spending time at both Leeds and Aston Villa. It was during this period that he was so impressive. His move to Manchester City was both the best of times and the worst for him as he won two Premier League medals but saw his game time reduced right as he was trying to establish himself in the England squad.
The 32 year old had spent the last two seasons at Everton and had been blighted by a series of injuries that resulted in him only making 21 appearances over that period. There is no doubt that his time with Everton was disappointing and the money that was spent in both the transfer fee and wages was a huge drain on the club with not much to show for it.
It should also be said that when he was on the pitch though he clearly exuded class and skills that were at a very high level. At the end of last season according to the Liverpool Echo, he had the highest player rating average out of the entire team with a mark of 6.64.
“It was also telling that out of those who played more than just a single game, Fabian Delph scored the highest average mark of 6.64 after some strong late season form - but with injury problems persisting he was only on the pitch for a quarter of the Blues’ matches.”
The end of the season run in saw him play a significant role in a number of games that helped the team survive and stay in the Premier League.
A two-time Premier League champion and a career that included winning 20 caps for England are all a testament to the quality that he possessed. Unfortunately, Evertonians were never able to see a consistency of quality or a consistency of appearances.
What might have been. We wish him well in his retirement.