England’s Fabian Delph reports early to prove fitness for Nations League

Dominic Fifield


Fabian Delph is to report early for the England squad following the completion of Manchester City’s record-breaking season in an attempt to prove form and fitness before next month’s Nations League finals.

Gareth Southgate welcomed 12 players from Everton, Leicester, Burnley, Stoke, West Ham, Southampton, Manchester United and Bournemouth to St George’s Park on Tuesday as preparations began for the two-game tournament in Portugal.

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Their domestic campaigns all finished on the final afternoon of the Premier League season, permitting them over a week off, with the other 15 players in the provisional squad having been given staggered times to join the national set-up.

Those included Jadon Sancho, whose Bundesliga campaign with Borussia Dortmund only ended on Saturday, and the 10 involved in the Europa League and Champions League finals, who will join up after the games in Baku and Madrid. The quartet from City, who won the FA Cup on Saturday, were not due to join up until next week, but Delph will instead report to the national centre on Wednesday in his eagerness to stake a claim for a place in the 23-man squad, to be named on 27 May.

The midfielder, who can also operate at left-back, has managed only 10 minutes of Premier League football this year, with his only starts in 2019 having come in the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League quarter-final loss at Tottenham Hotspur. That last appearance was in early April.