Everton have confirmed that Fabian Delph will miss Sunday afternoon’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers as he’s still struggling with a muscle injury. The 30-year-old has been out of action since February and it remains to be seen when he could return.
After Wolves, Everton face Aston Villa (July 16), Sheffield United (July 20) and Bournemouth (July 26), so Delph hasn’t got a lot of time on his side if he wants to play before the season finishes.
Carlo Ancelotti said in Friday’s pre-match press conference: “(Fabian) is recovering but it takes time because he had an injury on his thigh that he had before. He has to recover well. I am sure he will be able to come back before the end of the season but the priority is to recover well and properly.”
The England international joined Everton from Manchester City for £8.55m last summer and has gone on to make 20/39 appearances in all competitions. Delph’s debut season hasn’t gone to plan, however. He’s been short of form, fitness and playing time, drawing criticism from supporters for his inconsistency and spending nearly half the campaign on the treatment table.
In his absence, Ancelotti has Andre Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tom Davies and Beni Baningime at his disposal, so Delph won’t be missed. Everton’s chances of finishing in the top-six are all but over this season, but they can still finish in a strong top-half position.
The Toffees are 11th in the table with 45 points from 34 games, coming off the back of two wins and a draw from their last four outings. Wolves are four places and seven points better off, but they’ve lost their last two and have only won 35% of their home games.