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Carragher: Delph/Agbonlahor can be World Cup hits

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Carragher: Delph/Agbonlahor can be World Cup hits


Jamie Carragher believes Fabian Delph has the "energy and aggression" to force his way into England's World Cup squad - and thinks Gabby Agbonlahor could join him on the plane.

Carragher is a big fan of Delph because of the quality of his performances this term as well as the balance he would bring to the Three Lions set-up as a left-footer.

He accepts that it would be difficult for a non-capped player to make such a late surge into Roy Hodgson's summer party but he believes that Delph is the most likely of any candidates out there.

The former Liverpool colossus also thinks Agbonlahor has an outside shot of representing his country at the major showpiece tournament because of his pace and versatility.

He said in his latest Sky Sports column: "One of Villa's outstanding players over the last 18 months has been Fabian Delph and there's no reason he can't force his way into England's plans, something his manager has made a note of recently.

"Delph is playing every week for a big club, whereas some players in Roy Hodgson's squad aren't, so I would be surprised if Roy and his staff are not looking closely at him as the World Cup approaches, even though Brazil might come a bit too early.

"He gives a side real energy and aggression and, because he is left-footed, offers you nice balance in the middle of the park, while he has strike on him, too.

"He ticks a lot of boxes and if he concentrates on his game and not the form of the players he is competing with for a place in England's squad, he might sneak in - but it might take something special for an uncapped player at this stage to board the plane.

"There is always change after a big tournament, though, and so Delph's real chance could come heading towards the Euros in 2016, but, of course, he will have to maintain his form for Aston Villa.

"Gabriel Agbonlahor might be looking to the World Cup as well but when you get your chance at international level - he has three caps at this moment - you really have to take your opportunity.

"It is rare for someone to play for England, disappear for a bit and then come back again but maybe Roy will think he can do a job in Brazil because he is quite a versatile player in that he can play as a winger or up front and has bundles of pace."

Carragher also hailed Lambert's young lions philosophy for the claret and blue, saying it's an approach that impresses real football purists.

He added: "Lambert's philosophy at Villa has been to draft in youth players as well as give guys from the lower leagues - such as Ashley Westwood and Matthew Lowton - their chance in the big time, and that's something football purists like to see.

"But, of course, you have to get results as well and after a tricky period last year, they are doing that now, albeit more on the road than at home.

"Sometimes you have to take one step back to take two steps forward so while last season we looked at Villa and thought they should be in a stronger mid-table position, perhaps they needed a bit of a struggle.

"Their form this campaign seems to suggest that, as they have got great wins over Arsenal, Man City and Southampton."

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AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 12th December 2013
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