Delfouneso grateful for chances Burnley FC are offering him

Nathan Delfouneso
Nathan Delfouneso

LOAN striker Nathan Delfouneso hopes to return to Aston Villa in the summer on the high of a promotion.

The England Under-21 forward netted the winner on his debut at Hull City on Tuesday night, hours after joining the Clarets until the end of the season.

And the 20-year-old feels the deal is win-win for all parties. He aims to go back to Villa Park having stepped up his game and scored a bagful of goals, with Burnley back in the Premier League.

Boss Eddie Howe fought off competition from a long list of Championship clubs for the frontman’s services, and Delfouneso said: “I think it had come to the stage where I really needed to play.

“It wasn’t going to be in my interests to just be training and travelling.

“I’m at the time now where I feel I’ve got to be playing more regular first-team football to progress my game, become a better player, and get myself up to a high level.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity, and hopefully I can come here and do well, bring success to the club, and we can push for promotion, and everything will be all good.”

Delfouneso has found his opportunities limited at Villa under Gerard Houllier. The youngster added: “The gaffer at Villa knows what’s best for the club.

“He’s brought in some good players, and a very good finisher in Darren Bent, and hopefully he can push on for us this season. I wish him all the best.

“But this was a good all-round move. I like to think of myself as a family person and I’m based in Manchester at the moment, so it’s not too far from where I live, so I can go home if I need to, be with my family and girlfriend, so it’s nice on all levels. Hopefully we can get some success while I’m here.”

He hadn’t even trained with his new team-mates before his debut, but said: “It can’t get much better really than a goal on your debut.

“Obviously I’ve come here to score goals and develop my game, and I can’t ask for a better start than that.

“It was just about being in the right area at the right time, and thankfully it went in.”

Delfouneso was already familiar with Jay Rodriguez and Jack Cork, who he has joined on England Under-21 duty, and the squad have welcomed him into the fold.

He said: “It all went through Monday night, so I met the boys on the morning of the game and everyone has helped me settle in.

“It was just a case of getting on the pitch and trying to gel, trying to find a bit of chemistry, and it was one of those games where we had to fight for it, and we came out with three points.”