Defour enjoying a new lease of life with Burnley

Clarets midfielder Steven Defour feels that the club's evolution in the Premier League is helping to bring out the best in him.

Steven Defour takes the ball away from Chelsea's N'Golo Kante
Steven Defour takes the ball away from Chelsea's N'Golo Kante

The 29-year-old, who was an unused substitute in Belgium’s Group H World Cup qualifying victories over Gibraltar and Greece as the Red Devils became the first European nation to qualify for Russia 2018, has been given a new lease of life at Turf Moor.

The Mechelen-born central midfield maestro has started all three league games, with a change of shape, with the Clarets operating in a 4-4-1-1, accommodates Defour in his favoured position in the middle of the park, while he is seeing more of the ball with Burnley enjoying more possession.

Defour said: “With the loss of the ball there’s a lot of running, and sometimes in games you don’t see the ball that often. It was like that (against Spurs) in the first half – I just had to run.

“Then when we get the ball, I just had to bring that calmness in to the team which now, with (Jack) Corky, we can keep the ball and play.

“The gaffer wants that mixed play – searching for that long ball, getting the second ball and moving the team forward.

“That’s part of the growth that Burnley is going through at the moment – we’re getting more of the ball than in the past few years. That can bring some good results.

“Jack is somebody who also likes the ball and can bring the calmness that I want to bring to the team.

“We are two players who are wanting the ball and can get the team starting to play. It’s working very well. I’ve also learnt to run now in a defensive way. I just want to keep adding that quality to the team and do it for a whole season. I want to be in the team for the whole season.”