Sherwood hails Delph loyalty

Tim Sherwood has heaped praise on Fabian Delph for opting to stay at Aston Villa despite interest from Manchester City.

Aston Villa manager Time Sherwood hopes to build his side around captain Fabian Delph after the midfielder turned down a move to Manchester City.

Delph had been the subject of keen interest from City after an impressive 2014-15 campaign which saw him help Villa survive in their relegation battle, as well as reach the FA Cup final.

On Saturday, Delph released a statement confirming his intention to remain at Villa Park, and while the midfielder is not currently with the squad on their pre-season trip to the Algarve due to family commitments, Sherwood was full of praise for his skipper.

"We are looking to build something here and we're looking to keep our best players," he told the club's official website.

"Fabian is certainly one of those. It's just an example of the measure of the guy really that he decided to stay - the loyalty he's shown to the fans, the football club and the chairman. And I'm delighted to have him here next season.

"He stayed away from this trip because his wife is due their second child any moment. That's why he was always going to stay back.

"He had an opportunity to join Man City and he weighed up his options and decided to stay with us, which we're obviously all delighted about.

"Fabian is a leader. I could go as much as to say that if Fabian wasn't with us last season we wouldn't be in the Premier League now.

"He's someone I had the ear of. He was very instrumental in what I wanted to do. He knew exactly what I wanted from the team and he drove them on.

"It can't always come from the manager - the instructions - sometimes someone on the pitch needs to translate that information and Fabian certainly did that."