Injuries to key players opened up vacant spots in the Everton midfield that prompted boss Benitez to call up on veteran Delph to step up.


The 31-year-old impressed in both of Everton’s last two games in the Premier League and is expected to play a key role in their upcoming clash against his former club Manchester City.



Benitez has revealed that he was thinking about replacing Delph in the summer after taking the reins at Everton but he has since managed to change his mind.


The Spaniard explained that Delph showed a lot of graft on the training pitch, managing to win him over with his dedication and intensity, and stressed he can play a key role under him.



Asked whether he thinks Delph cane be a key player for Everton, Benitez told a press conference: “At the beginning I think everybody knows, he knows that we were thinking about replacing him.


“But he was training really well.



“I was really pleased in the way he was [doing] in every training session and when I was quite pleased, he had a shoulder problem and we had to wait ten weeks until he was available again.


“So, he came back and from day one in ten training session, we saw his commitment, his intensity and also, he is quite vocal, he is trying to help the team-mates in terms of when you have to go and press, when you have to do here or there.


“So, this kind of player with experience and quality, if you can keep them fit, then they can help the team if they have the right mentality and he is really desperate to play.”


The Toffees are winless in their last five games in the league but will be determined to return from Manchester with at least one point in the bag.