Guardiola backs Delph for World Cup berth
manchester: Pep Guardiola believes Gareth Southgate would be taking a risk if he did not name Fabian Delph in England's World Cup squad after an impressive season from the Manchester City utility man.
Delph, 28, overcame three injury-ravaged seasons to become Guardiola's first-choice left-back following the knee problem suffered by Benjamin Mendy in September.
His form, and ability to play numerous positions, has seen the former Aston Villa midfielder emerge as a strong contender for Southgate's squad.
Southgate visited Guardiola and his English contingent for talks at their training ground on Friday.
Delph won his ninth, and most recent, cap in November 2015, but Guardiola clearly believes his player should be on the plane to Russia when Southgate finalises his squad.
"Maybe it will be a risk if he doesn't take him to the World Cup," Guardiola said when asked if Southgate would be taking a gamble if he names Delph.
"Today Gareth Southgate was here, we speak together about the English players in the team, he is delighted with all of them; John Stones, Kyle (Walker), all of them. Delph as well.
"I would like to see Fabian Delph at the World Cup, of course it depends on Gareth, because I think he deserves it.
"He is a player who can play in different positions, he helps us to play good football, to be better, to give an extra pass." Question marks persist about Delph's durability, however, with the City man scheduled to make what would be just his 30th Premier League start in three seasons when the champions faces Huddersfield.