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Delfouneso Signs First Contract

Teenage sensation Nathan Delfouneso has signed his first professional contract at Villa.

The player has only just turned 17 and has already been given a squad number in recognition of his efforts in the U-18 and reserve teams.

He also travelled with the full squad for our loss at Fulham but did not make the final 16.

People have been commenting that he might be the next to step up for quite a while, and it looks like that may happen sooner rather than later if he keeps progressing at the same rate.

Speaking on the official site, Martin O'Neill admitted that he had been very pleased with Delfouneso's application and attitude so far and that he wanted him to join the lads for the Fulham trip so he could start to experience life at the top and not be overawed when his time does come.

'Nathan is very much one for the future. He turned 17 on Saturday - how we wish we were all 17 again!

'I thought his performances in the youth team games this season have been excellent.

'I thought it would be nice for him to join us at Fulham. He could have a look at it so that if he is pitched in eventually it isn't a surprise to him or more importantly he isn't overawed.

'He has trained with the first team and he will continue to do that. He will move between that and games in the youth team - and there's an important one coming up at Carlisle on Thursday.

'It's a matter of keeping his feet on the ground but he does seem like he is a level headed young man. He can play though - make no mistake!'

With Gabby out injured, and all of our remaining strikers, well, misfiring, you have to wonder how close to a debut he really is.

We need some kind of spark upfront, and a young, hungry player wanting to make a name for himself could make quite an impact if given 10-15 minutes here and there in games.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 6 2008

Time: 3:28PM

Your Comments

This is a good move by the Villa, this kid is quality and could be the next step up, very quick and has a good touch and vision.
rdunbar100
I say get him on the bench on Saturday and play Marlon up front! What do we have to lose? I think it may be a little unfair on Maloney though...Have any of you guys seen him play? Does he look really good?
KSarge1
KSarge1..this kid is good, very good. If he doesn't get carried away (and I don't think MON and the staff will let him) he could be serious class BUT I remember thinking the same about Luke Moore at 16. The current youth team are IMO as good (possibily better) than the squads that produced the two Moore's, Cahill, Ridgewell, Whittingham, Davis, Gardner and Agbonlahor. A lot of quality youngsters at under 18, and a lot more in the reserves. I really like a young Swedish full back Erik Lund ( I think he is 19). Has anyone else been impressed by him?
krfeskivilla
I liked Lund alot, only seen him play once but was very good. There is an Irish LB for the reserves that I really liked, gets stuck in and has a nice amount of energy about him. I don't think we'll se this Delfauneso lad for a long time though, it would be too unfair to bring him in ahead of Marlon or Maloney.
PTP
mon i think has hinted he may get thrown in , as he said pitched in , so sounds like to me mon may give him ten mins durin a game
meakers
He was in the squad that travelled down to Fulham but didnt make the 16. Nice to see him being involved with the first team though.
DeanoVilla
PTP- What's "unfair" got to do with it. If he's good enough, throw him in the deep-end. Matt Busby never thought twice about it with Bobby Charlton or Duncan Edwards.
villacross
I like what I've seen of the lad, he definitely has both the ability and the potential, and has come on in leaps and bounds this season. He's not ready to be 'thrown in the deep end' yet though, but certainly being involved with the first team can only help his progress and development.
glensider
Looks a class above in the youth team, get a few more reserve team games under his belt, a loan spell somewhere maybe, and who knows?
glensider
 

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