Delight at Delgado

Last updated : 20 May 2002 By Christian Kelly
If you were to believe the hacks, Agustin Delgado was just another selfish South American, only at the club for the money. He's moody and wants to leave for a "better" club as soon as possible. Loads of people, at the slightest rumour, have been saying that Delgado had no future at the club.

Which is why I enjoyed the news that Agustin has relinquished his salary while he with Ecuador so much. Delgado joined up with his national team early amid pressure from his National coach and language and injury difficulties at the club.

Agustin said: "People don't know this, but I voluntarily suspended my own salary when I went to Ecuador. Not many players would do that, but I didn't want to be a burden to my team when I wasn't playing."

A figure is in excess of £100,000 has been suggested as the amount Delgado has passed up.

His agent said: "It is a large sum and will be reinstated when Agustin comes back in July. He and the club came to this agreement as Agustin felt it was unfair for him to take the club's money, while he left to be operated in Ecuador.

"He felt that his Southampton team-mates and the manager, Gordon Strachan, would get the wrong impression about him that he was faking an injury while taking the club's money. Nothing could be further from the truth, and by refusing his salary he was proving this."

To finally put to bed all of the rumours surrounding his departure, Agustin said: "I have a three-year contract with Southampton, so it is their decision if they want to keep me or sell me to another team Unless they know something I don't, I plan on returning to get ready to be fit for next season."

This is great news as the glimpses we had of Delgado were impressive. He has had another knee injury while preparing for the World Cup but it is hoped that he recovers in time to have a good tournament.