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Pellegrini Hopes Aston Villa Fans Don't Boo Fabian Delph

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Fabian Delph's decision to leave Aston Villa this summer was a contentious back-and-forth saga that eventually saw the club captain and England International sign with the Blues after Manchester City triggered his contract release clause.

Delph had stated for the record when rejecting City's initial offer:

"I'm not leaving. I'm staying at the football club and I can't wait for the start of the season and captaining this great football club."

Less than a week later, Delph was unveiled as a Blues player.

Delph's injury-plagued season has met with giggles and cries of "justice" from some hard core supporters of Villa on social media. Given this backdrop Delph who is fit for his first Premier League action since late August could be come off the bench Sunday in Birmingham at Villa Park. Blues Manager Manuel Pellegrini hopes Villa fans don't boo the player on Sunday.

"No, I hope he will not receive that. He played a lot of years for Aston Villa and Aston Villa wanted to sell him also. He continued being a player that gave a lot of his career to Aston Villa and I don't think the fans will forget all those things."

"Maybe it is the same as with Jesús Navas when we played against Sevilla. Fabian made [a lot of] his career at Aston Villa but he is a professional player, now he is playing with us. I know that he wants to play also because he was a long time injured."

While Pellegrini last month did not support Vincent Kompany's decision to play for Belgium when coming off an injury he would not be opposed to Delph playing for England during the upcoming international break.

"It will be good for Fabian to play for England. He played some minutes in Seville and maybe he will play some more on Sunday. So, it is good for him to have minutes and good for the national squad also."

Delph's most recent injury came on England duty during a September Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland.