Delfouneso feels Turf loan has improved his football education

Nathan Delfouneso
Nathan Delfouneso

STRIKER Nathan Delfouneso returned to Aston Villa ahead of the Clarets’ final game of the season, and believes his loan spell has improved him.

The England Under 21 front man, nicknamed “Fonz”, netted one goal in 11 appearances with Burnley, bagging the winner on his debut at Hull City.

His loan was ended last week with the Clarets unable to make the play-offs, and he was an unused substitute in Villa’s 1-1 draw with Wigan, after Burnley ended their campaign with a similar result against Cardiff City.

The 20-year-old feels he has profited from the experience, and he hopes Gary McAllister - at the helm as Gerard Houllier recuperates - will let him loose in Villa’s remaining games against Arsenal and Liverpool.

He said: “Going on loan to Burnley is an experience I think I needed - playing back-to-back games. I think I needed to do that.

“I feel like I’ve come back as a far more educated player.

“It has been good for my development.

“It’s been a great learning curve. It has given me extra motivation to make my mark in the Premier League. That’s where I want to be for my career.”

He added: “The Championship is a good competitive league but I won’t deny it’s majorly different from the Premier League.

“It’s a different style of football - more physically demanding and it’s incredibly intense too.

“It’s a decent league with decent players and I am glad I got my experience there. I will take a lot from it.

“I have experienced a different environment. I have learnt more about the game too - that there are different styles to the game.

“On a personal level I would have liked to have scored more goals. I started really well, scoring in my first game, but it dimmed down after that.

“I would have liked to have got more but overall, there’s no question it was a good experience for me and my development in football as a whole. I am very grateful to the guys at Burnley.”

Delfouneso, who also scored for England Under 21s at Deepdale against Iceland while on loan at Burnley, returns to Villa looking to add to his two goals in 22 appearances in the Premier League.

And he added: “I am hungry, very hungry, to get myself involved.

“I am going to go all out to become a regular in the coming seasons.

“I am looking to push on and be a success here.

“I am hungry, very hungry, to get myself involved. Hopefully I will be involved before the end of the season.

“I am going to go all out to become a regular in the coming seasons. I am looking to push on and be a success here.

“It’s been ups and downs this season. I started off slowly and wasn’t getting into the 18. Then I had a period where I started playing more and got my first two starts.

“Then it got to the stage where it went back again and then obviously I had the loan, which also had its ups and downs.

“I would have liked that to have been more successful there.

“I wanted to do a bit more. I don’t feel like the Burnley fans saw the best of me.”