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2016/2017 Season

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Lambert backs Delph to get England call

In-form Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph is being tipped as a possible England international of the near future.

Fabian Delph continued his impressive start to the season against Liverpool.
Fabian Delph in action for Aston Villa against Liverpool.

• Hughes: Young Lions

With his injury problems behind him, the 23-year-old is emerging as one of the driving forces of Paul Lambert’s side as they seek to consolidate their position in the top half of the Premier League table at Hull on Saturday afternoon.

And the manager believes the former Leeds player could be in line to add to the international recognition he has received at under-21 and under-19 level.

"I’d love him to get into a squad," Lambert said. "When you are a young player and you keep getting overlooked, it is hard. That mental block of injuries is out of the way and you would hope somewhere along the line he will get recognition.

"He has energy in abundance and is playing ever so well. He grew into it towards the end of last season and he has carried on this season, with being injury-free.

"You know what you are going to get with him and sometimes you wish he would curtail things and hold back a bit. But he’s a good guy to work with because of his enthusiasm and drive.

"When we came here, we knew he hadn’t trained as much, which probably held him back. We had to try to get him out there and get him through it. You can count on the fingers of one hand how many training sessions he has missed.

"We asked him to put a marker down at the beginning of last Saturday’s game [against Manchester City] and I think he did that.

"You would like him to score more goals but the general level of his play is very high. You know he will be there at certain big moments of the game."

Lambert has also suggested he plans to be flexible with his formation after switching to the use of three central defenders in the win over City seven days ago.

"The beauty about it is that the players can adapt," he added. "They played it last season and know how to do it.

"We can change to different ways of playing with different personnel. It all depends who we are playing and who’s fit."


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