Aston Villa have allowed Fabian Delph to join Leeds United on loan, with the initial deal keeping him at Elland Road until February 25th.

The news follows upset at the sale of captain Jonny Howson and Leeds will hope this announcement eases tensions after protests were held outside Elland Road last night.

Simon Grayson is due to hold a predictably tough press conference at 2pm today, where questions over the club’s ambition will likely dominate proceedings. He too will hope Delph’s capture can distract somewhat from the widespread feeling of gloom surrounding Leeds United.

It’s unlikely to change much however. A one month loan deal does not make up for the loss of another key player and calls for Ken Bates to sell up will continue on regardless.

Fabian Delph’s return could actually have the opposite effect. Fans will be reminded of the reported £6m that seemingly vanished after his 2009 sale – £6m Ken Bates claimed would secure Thorp Arch’s repurchase.

Fabian Delph joined Leeds United as a youth player in 2001, making his debut for the first team in 2006. He went on to make 46 league appearances for The Whites, scoring six times before he was sold to Aston Villa for a reported £6m in 2009.

Since then, Delph has managed just 25 Premier League appearances for Villa with injury problems halting his progress. Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish, will see the loan deal as a chance for Fabian Delph to return to match fitness.

Pub Ammo: Fabian Delph is Leeds United’s 66th loan signing since 2004. It’s a transfer philosophy that just screams long-term thinking and building towards a brighter future, I’m sure you’ll agree?

Ken Bates Quote: “Our position is very simple – Fabian Delph is not for sale, nor will he be in the future. Fabian’s going to be a Premiership player, but he’s going to be a Premiership player with Leeds” 04.11.08

44 Responses

  1. number1inyorkshire

    DELPH fantastic and none of whats gone on is his fault welcome back

    however a month loan deal for a player who will never be ours is at best papering over the grand canyon with tissue paper .

    if they think this is gonna make us as fans go starry eyed and forget that OUR own players are being flogged off he is pissing in the wind and filling his wellies ..

    what an idiot

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS he brings out the worst in me i have to get ready for my sunday sermon !!!

  2. Dezzio

    A month, wtf ! Leeds being used as a means to get him fit for Villa. 24 hour recall if he stays beyond the month. Does anyone believe that he will be here at the end of the season?

    As likely as Snods, Clayton & White signing 4 year deals. What a joke.I really fear for Leeds. On paper Notts Forest have arguably a better squad than us and look where they are !

  3. number1inyorkshire

    there is love for Delph but none for the deal he will not be match fit for a month .

    • HampshireWhite

      @number1inyorkshire Delph isn’t match fit? He’s played 11games for Villa +1 sub this season. By contrast Michael Brown has played 11 games + 2 sub & Mika Varynen 3 games + 9 subs. SAme number of matches as either of the players he’s likely to displace but in a higher league. I’m praying Villa don’t get any mid-fielders injured between now and the end of the season! Our fixture list gives us matches against lower teams in February and against our main competitors for the play-offs in March/April. We desparately need 15+ points from the 7 games DElph will be with us if we’re going to be in the right place going into the tough fixture list at the end of the season.
      If we can hang onto Delph until the end of the season (& sign two quality defenders before the end of January) we’re still in with a shout of the play-offs. Then even our board might see the point of strengthening!

      • number1inyorkshire

        @HampshireWhite There is fit and there is match fit ,all the players you name may well have played the same amount of games as delph ,but they are not coming back after months out with ligament damage .

        it will take him a month to get match fit and sharp thats if he doesn’t tweek anything getting there .

        i like delph but this seems to me more of grayson rushing an old favourite back to get us over howson ,who was plan B smith .batty .radebe, yeboah

        i hope he stays fit and more importantly stays at leeds til june .

        but as many have said it aint no replacement for 1 of our players leaving .

        what will happen to the money ,just for the record we should only need 1 centre half because we have a perfectly good 1 in o’brien that has fallen out with grayson .answers on a post card

  4. Dje

    A month with a possible (and equally impossible) extension until the end of the season is the worst of results. If we had him until the end of the season, with no callback clause, then Grayson would know exactly what he is doing regarding the rebuilding of our midfield.

    Now he has eleven days left of the transfer window with a player pencilled in until 25th February and then one big question mark in the middle of his team thereafter. So let’s say Pattison impresses whilst on trial. Grayson will be left thinking do I really need him and can I afford the extra wages – as Delph MIGHT be costing us a packet until the end of the season.

    By 26th February, if Delph is recalled to Aston Villa then what is Grayson going to do? Certainly not buy someone. Another loanee at best, and how many of those are going to be good come late February and not already cherry picked by other Championship clubs.

    If we can’t have him until the end of the season we should move on from Delph. Emotions aside for an ex-Leeds lad, he is unfit, he is possibly only here for a month, he has only played 36 games – two thirds of the amount he played whilst at Leeds – in the last two and a half seasons. As Colin says, he might not be the miracle kid we once hailed him as.

  5. Gryff

    Yes, I wouldn’t argue that Alan Smith would improve the side. But we couldn’t (according to journo rumour) afford 20k p/w for Jonny Howson. Smith is on 60k p/w and has talked openly of returning to Orlando, U.S. after his current contract.

    Don’t you think we should be looking at York City, or Wrexham, or somewhere realistic for our talent?

    • Tyler75

      Judging on Wrexham’s performance against Brighton the other night, at least half their team would improve ours ! Particularly; Obeng, Knight-Percival, Harris and Danny Wright

  6. Dje

    To be honest, and I know most would disagree, I’d prefer to take Smith back on a 1 and a half year contract on the money we’ll be shelling out on Delph.

    • TSS

      @Dje I think we’re in a desperate enough situation now that Smith may be the only answer. My only argument against re-signing him has only ever been that I think better players would be available for that kind of money. When your captain walks away because he doesn’t believe this club is capable of promotion, then that ceases to be the case I’m afraid. A lot of players we could have signed previously – given the funds – will now reject Leeds United.

      We’re competing with the likes of Barnsley now when we should be competing with the top teams.

      • Dje

        @TSS Yep, entirely agree about the competing with Barnsley. For all Grayson’s rabbit-in-the-headlight stnace at getting ‘Premiership quality’ players in – on loan! from teams like Aston Villa or Wolves, that horse has bolted now. We need to do what Norwich did a few seasons back and pick up the talent from the leagues below. Whoever commented about the surprising quality of players at Wrexham made a good call. The lad from TNS, THE Robbie Rogers, and Matt Pattison have to be given a fair chance. Not because they are likely to be fnatastic, but becuase they are our resource pool now. No longer can we sell ourselves as Leeds United and going forwards; we’ve sold ourselves too cheaply to claim that any more.

        Re: Smith. He offers two advantages.

        1. He is getting on in age. Some see this as a disadvantage but considering the whoring of youth Bates is upto, no one would be coming in to tempt Smith away from us, regardless of how well he might do for us.

        2. He owes us one/has history with us. So there’s passion, leadership, determination, but above all, loyalty to the cause (these are the redeeming features that any Newcastle fan relays about Smith’s time up there). Considering we have just lost our captain who was supposed to epitomizes all these, Smith offers the skills that an admittedly better central midfielder is unlikely to be able to offer. Which leads to his wages…

        He is on £60k a week at Newcastle with four months remaining on his contract. They want him off their books. Come the next fortnight I’d imagine Newcastle will settle up his contract early – essentially paying him 75% of his remaining wages but releasing him 4 months early. At which point he is fair game between us and other Championship clubs and a few bottom Premiership clubs. I seriously believe that he has no need for wages. He is rich already, and knows he has been lucky with how much he got paid by us, the Scum and Newcastle – for what has, essentially been, an unfulfilled career. From this I think we could accommodate him in our corset-tight wage structure. If we say we have unfortunately saved c.£10k a week on Howson’s wages, but needed a new central midfielder anyway – say who would have been on £6k per week. That gets us up to around £16k a week already. But to be honest, I’d make the play that Smith should only be on the wage that our current top earner is on – Snodgrass hopefully, but possibly Paynter!

      • Gryff

        @Dje@TSS He could get a decent paycheck if he wanted though. But I would hope he would see us still in dire straits and want to put right the record when people didn’t work out the real situation behind him having to leave.

        They’ll never listen to him, so what better way than to put in a good shift as a midfielder, an even better shift as a captain, and get us back up to the Premiership?

        You couldn’t write the script for that sort of ending, so it’s thus possibly pretty likely!

  7. WoodyUK

    Very glad he’s back and hope it’s till the end of the season and Villa don’t invoke the 24hr recall. If he’s anywhere near 75% fit he’ll make a difference. I’m not linking this loan with Howson’s sale as Howson is out injured for the next month anyway. I’m want a permenant replacement for Howson on a 3 year contract with a player of similar or better quality – anything else and I’ll be disappointed. Anyone else get the feeling that Pugh was signed permenantly not only for his versatility but also to cover Aidy White’s departure (of course I’m hoping not but tending to feel a little paranoid atm)

  8. Newby

    During Fabian’s loan we play seven games, only one of those games is against a team above us in the table, if the teams above us are consistent or we lose any of those games we will have little or no impact on the promotion race. Once Fabian leaves we have thirteen games left, we face eight of the teams above us without Fabian and without Jonny! See where Im going with this

    • keepthefaith

      @Newby It seems likely we will return him after the seven matches, unless we are still in realistic contetion for the play offs. The thinking being that Delphs wages would be to bigger expense for a team whose season would be petering out.

  9. WoodyUK

    Snodgrass, McCormack, Bechhio, Clayton, Lonnergan, Pugh are all decent players signed for very reasonable fees. The players are out there, if other clubs can do it on limited budgets and we have done it for almost 7 years (including in League 1) we can do it again. I’m upset at the way our season is drifting, I think our squad is mediocre and doesn’t deserve promotion, I think our management team lack ambition but unlike some I’m not about to throw the towel in – I’ve felt worse about LUFC in my lifetime before and probably will again in the future but I won’t give up hope.

    • Dje

      @WoodyUK Good on yer, Woody. True, there is always hope. My huge disappoint regarding the Howson sale is that it shows regardless of what players we bring in – talent like Snodgrass and Clayton – or those we develop – like Howson, Lees and White – we have shown ourselves to be so utterly disinterested in keeping them at all costs, as well as a belief that we can, with a squad collected eclectically and on the cheap, still reach the Premiership.

      The ambition of this club has been reduced to flirting as close to the Premiership as required to attract clubs to come and pay big money for players that cost us little money or none. At which point, you really do start scratching your head to know how we can ever develop a team that can be good enough to get promoted.

      Yes other clubs do it. But they have Chairman who fight their club’s corner and have a passion to progress as a club, not just as a private bank balance sheet.

  10. leeds lad leeds

    What is the point in a 1 month loan?! absolutely pointless, what a joke of a managment. Give SG the HOwson, Gradel, Delph money and get out of our club. lies after lies after lies. I hope Delph has a storming month, but an injury recovering player is hardly going to have an impact. IGWT

    • keepthefaith

      @leeds lad leeds Assume that was what Bates would only ok , because of his wages,then we will see where we go from there. but not a great endorsement of Graysons managerial future !

  11. Oxford White

    I’m anti Bates but now questioning Grayson, where’s his integrity, pride & how far will he allow Batesvto compromise him & HIS team? He should walk, the players are, so should we, them all Btes will have is an empty rented building. We are Leeds not Bates, we can rebuild after he’ forced out.

    • keepthefaith

      @Oxford White Totaly agree with your posting ! would love Grayson to walk (although i am a fan of him) and would love him to be frank and honest with whats been going on at our beloved club. But suppose it would harm his chances of getting another job in the future, as other chairman would not employ someone like that.

  12. CraigSweaton

    We should surely be strengthening the midfield with Delph as an extra player, not as a makeweight to stop us crying about Howson going.

    I said the same thing in the summer when we lost 2 of our regular and solid (although admittedly not inspirational) midfielders and inherited Brown and Varynen as cover but, if by some miracle we did get promoted this season, WHERE THE HELL WILL THAT LEAVE US NEXT SEASON? A few freebies and some loanees returning to parent clubs = another squad that will need a total overhaul.

    I’m depressed :(

  13. Chareose

    a month ??? Hes hardly played, will he even have an impact ???!!

    Que the nieve element of leeds support to start celebrating…….Loan players are not the answer, the only ones who really work are the season long loans……… This is just a pathetic attempt to distract the fans and i feel sorry for Delph to be pushed into this to be honest

  14. Oxford White

    And another thing:-) if you want to be crystal clear what we fans (customers) mean to bates’s Leeds try contacting the club via the official website…. You can buy tickets, shirts, rent boxes, hire corporate meeting rooms, buy traveletc but nowhere can you give feedback about your customer experience, at a ame, in general, at all BECAUSE THEY DON’T GIVE A FU CK ABOUT YOU

  15. Dje

    @TSS I imagine it’ll be Delph and Clayton in a 4-4-2, Delph, Clayton and Pugh in a 4-5-1.

    That said, I thought Villa had been playing Delph very deep in midfield. In which case he might opt for a new attacking midfielder sat behind the Becchio position. In theory that is where Nunez plays in the Honduran national team but I’m not convinced he’s set for English football yet. You could give McCormack a turn, Snodgrass too.

  16. Chareose

    for a month Lee….. thats pathetic, hes a player whos hardly played.

    This move may distract some leeds fans from the problems at ER but not me, I doubt Delph will have much impact at all its just an effort to hide the problems

  17. yorkwhite1

    Just about sums up Bate’s tenure of our once great club. Seven years ago we had two excellent youngsters on our books, Howson and Delph. Now we have Delph for a month and Bates has £8 million quid in the bank. Chelsea supporting scum get out of our club.

  18. jimmyoneeye

    I really hope your right, but i think that will hinge on villas form and injury problems between now and then

  19. Chareose

    From reading the posts from other leeds fans it looks like plenty of leeds fans are easily pleased (now delph has arrived for……….a month……..) everything is great again at elland road and we will stumble on for a few months until the next disaster and….then the next and the next………… but aslong as uncle ken keeps bunging in a few empty promises and exciting (temporary and unfit) loanees, the leeds united cash cow will carry on sailing with Captain Birdseye at the helm……….

    • WoodyUK

      @Chareose Not many were happy before the club agreed to Howson’s sale and no one is happy that Jonny will be off even if some can understand a logic in it. Let’s be honest Delph coming back is a positive with little risk involved. The club still have the option of spending the JH cash but they now have the opportunity to use it either on a midfield replacement or on a few quality defenders. Why people have to paint a gloomy picture even when something good happens I don’t know. At least Fab wants to be at this club ~ “I mentioned to the manager at Villa that if I am not going to be playing games I would like to go out and play some games … as soon as my agent told me there was a possibility of me coming back to Leeds, I was 100% coming back”

      • Chareose


        oh cmon………..everytime we see a player sold we hear the promises of the money going into transfer pot, yet we keep selling and we keep purchase replacements who are free and shite, how much of the Delph, Gradel, Shmeichal, johnson, kilkenny, TV money, Exortionate season ticket money, have we have taken in so far been spent on replement players ???! Do you really think it will be different this time ?? And how much do you think we would have to pay for another Howson ?? ………………

      • WoodyUK

        @Chareose I really won’t know how much will be spent on players until the end of January and looking to spend £2m for a player in the last few months of his contract that is currently injured would be a bit pointless to Leeds at the moment. We are not getting promoted this season (unless a miracle happens), Jonny was not going to sign an extension to stay in the Championship and he’s crocked – for me a no brainer to take the cash. My money stays in my pocket until I find out who they sign in the next 10 days but we’ve all been here before and none of us has slit our wrists yet. I’m a pint glass half full person, you tell me when your glass is empty but I’ll still enjoy seeing Delph on Saturday and not ashamed of it :-)

      • Chareose


        Well…. Woody my ol’ mate see you back here at wrist slasher central in a months time then……

        P.S if Ken Bates spends more than 300k on a player you have my permission to eat your left testicle

  20. WoodyUK

    That would depend on Villa’s fortunes and needs. Lichaj last season was supposed to be short term but was extended successfully, Villa are just cautious about the arrangements to ensure their own club’s needs are met before ours – it doesn’t mean they would stand in Delph’s way if they were doing well and didn’t need him towards the end of the season.

  21. WoodyUK

    Grayson said: “We tried to do it to the end of the season and Fabian wants to come till the end of the season but Villa have only agreed to a 28-day loan. Over the next 10 days we’ll be in negotiations, trying to extend that to the end of the season. That would give us stability and the player stability. But I have to be happy to have him for at least seven games with the potential for him to be here a lot longer. In the 10 days before window shut we can turn it into a standard loan which is what we want to do.” Most positive part of this is that Delph wants to be here till season end and possibly this was a quickly done temporary deal to get him in the squad for Saturday. Added to that Alex McCarthy’s statement that “if there was every an opportunity to go back to Leeds I`d be back like a shot.” and Keogh’s comments that he’d love to sign permanently for Leeds it casts doubt on some people’s belief that LUFC are incapable of attracting decent players any more.

  22. Daniel Broadhead

    this is adding insult to injury , how much did you pocket from the delph transfer ken?

  23. Jonathon Pearson

    Another Leeds joke he is quality when fit but all we will be doing is getting him fit for villa

  24. Mark Wiggy Wigley

    It will get extended!! 1 month deal goes thru quicker than half a season so he can play tomoz


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