Villa boss Alex McLeish throws down gauntlet to Fabian Delph

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has challenged midfielder Fabian Delph to start living up to his ?6million price tag.

Delph was regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in the country when he moved from Leeds to Villa as a 19-year-old two seasons ago.

But he has not established a regular spot at Villa and has also suffered several injury setbacks and is currently recovering from an ankle problem.

McLeish said: 'I think it's time for Fabian Delph to show the reason why Villa invested a decent sum of money on a very young player.

'The challenge is there for Fabian. He can certainly tackle as well as pass the ball. He's got that quality.

'He's got a determined attitude and believes in himself.'

McLeish will use pre-season - Villa report back on Friday - to determine whether Delph is ready for the Premier League.

He said: 'We'll get a good idea in pre-season and will assess him then. I have to assess if he is ready for the Premier League.

'But for him, after his injury problems, to get a full season would be a massive boost to his mental toughness.'

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Source: Daily Mail