The Fabian Delph saga took an unexpected turn Friday morning with news that Manchester City had met his release clause and that he would be taking a medical today to complete the move. When Delph reaffirmed his commitment to Villa this past weekend, Christian Benteke, the club's star striker was still at the club. But as has been the case in the last few seasons, Villa is selling rather than buying top players. In the early part of American owner Randy Lerner tenure running the club, Villa were among the most active buyers of domestic talent in the league. The likes of James Milner, Stewart Downing, Emile Heskey, Ashley Young and Darren Bent were all purchased sometimes at inflated prices from within the Premier League.
However, even before Lerner decided to try and sell the club a few years ago, he had determined that his investment had not paid off as his outlay on players had never gotten the club above 6th in the Premier League. Since 2011, Villa has been strictly a selling club that fields players that are either cast-offs from other Premier League teams or young, cheaper buys. Benteke was a notable exception to this rule and with his imminent departure to Liverpool it is entirely possible that Delph saw the writing on the wall for another season fighting the drop and decided to bolt.
Stay tuned to Bitter & Blue in the coming hours for more on the potential Delph move.