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The former Villans player praised the 23-year-old's tenacious style and believes he will only get better if he can avoid the injuries that have troubled him in recent seasons

Nigel Reo-Coker believes that Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph has the ability to go all the way to the top if he can steer clear of injury.

Reo-Coker, 29, is now plying his trade in Canada for the Vancouver Whitecaps, but has kept tabs on his former club as they survived relegation from the Premier League under Paul Lambert.

Delph spent part of last season on loan at Leeds, from whom he joined Villa in 2009, but returned to earn a first-team place towards the back end of the campaign and Reo-Coker has declared himself an admirer of his tenacious style.

"Fabian is so talented," he told the Birmingham club's official website. "He has an abundance of ability. The world is his oyster. He has so much quality but I don't think people realise how much."

"I just hope he can stay injury-free because I know he's had his fair of problems over the past few years. I hope he can have a good run in the team in the coming seasons.

"I hope he continues to mature too and get better and better. Off the pitch he's a fantastic, well-grounded lad. On the pitch I just love his tenacity. He has that old-school mentality about him.

"Football has changed so much now. It's hard to see players and say they have that old-school mentality and be able to stand next to them and think they have that ability to be a man - take a tackle, give a tackle and handle situations. Fabian is one of them.

"He has been tremendous in the closing weeks of the season. I am confident he can continue to progress and improve in the coming years too."

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