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Player Profile - Nathan Delfouneso


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by OutByEaster

Nathan is the very latest in Villa's production line of fine young local talent and as he is now the proud owner of a squad number, OutByEaster thinks it’s about time we took a closer look at him.

NATHAN DELFOUNESO

Born - 2nd February 1991 in Tyseley, Birmingham

Height - 6ft 1in (and still growing)

Weight - 12st 5lbs

Nationality - English

Position - Striker

Squad No. - 14

Transfer - Came through youth system

Biog

Born in 1991, a stones throw from a place most of us would like to throw stones at, he’s a young man at the outset of his Villa career who's creating something of a stir.

Let’s get this out of the way first;

Nathan Delfouneso cannot leap tall buildings; no matter how many leaps he’s given. He isn’t faster than a speeding bullet and he’s no more powerful than the class 165 turbo from Snow Hill.

Right then, so what we’ve got is the most exciting young striking prospect to come from the ranks of Villa’s youth side since…well, since the last one.

Physically, Nathan is still growing and it’s noticeable how much he’s filled out since this time last year, he’s tall and becoming a very powerful young man. He’s quick; not ridiculously Gabby Agbonlahor quick but quicker than most and at least as quick as he’ll need to be.

Essentially, if Dr. Frankenstein had wanted to build a striker, he’d have started with a picture of Nathan Delfouneso.

I’ve been lucky enough to see him play several times for the reserve and youth teams and I can report that his biggest strength is the quickness of his feet. Nathan can bewilder, baffle and befuddle a defender with a dazzling array of flicks, tricks, drag backs, feints and shuffles. “Good feet for a big man” doesn’t really cover it.

He can finish, although he’s not a pure poacher and he needs to learn to work more as part of a team, but his ability on the ball is just frightening.

In most of the games last season that he played in, our tactic from the kick off was to let Nathan run at the opposition single handed; he rarely failed to make it to at least the edge of the opposition box.

He’s represented England at U16 and U17 level scoring 3 goals in 8 games for the U16’s and a hat trick for the U17’s on his debut in October of 2007.

He made his reserves debut in March of 2007 and for Villa last season he scored 22 goals in total; 13 for the academy, 4 for the reserves and 5 in the youth cup. Not a bad haul when you consider he was sixteen for the best part of that season. He was a big part of our league winning sides at both levels.

On 6th February, just four days after his 17th birthday he signed a contract for Villa that will take him through to June 2010 and he was given a squad number for the first team soon after.

He’s appeared in most of our pre-season games this season with the first team and scored his first goal with the big boys against FC Wil, but has yet to appear in a competitive game.

In truth, this is a young man with a number of areas to work on and a lot of work to do if he’s to be the finished article, he could do with more aggression, needs to work on his focus, improve his awareness on the field, get better in the air and learn when to just keep it simple, but he has time on his side and he’s already shown an ability in the last year to work on things and turn those weaknesses into strengths.

He’s working with a group of coaches who’ve shown with Gabby that they are pretty good at knocking the rough edges off a young striker. In Delfouneso they have a rough diamond, but he might just be the Kohinoor.

He reminds me a little of a young Stan Collymore in the way he takes defenders on and a little of Drogba in the way he bullies them; he’s got the potential to get to that level.

It’s pronounced Del-fons-o and I think you’re going to need to learn how to say it, but as ever the manager will decide how much of him we’ll see this season and I’ll leave the last word to Martin O’Neill: "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"

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  • Moderator

Come on LTLOV, for those of us not fortunate enough to have seen him often, what do you and Scott differ on? All opinions are part of the picture :thumb:

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Ok you asked for it Bof :D .. well Outby claims Nathan isn't "good in the air" when i happen to think he's very decent in the air actually, his first reserve goal was a class header into the top corner away at our nearest rivals Reading and he's scored a few for the England school boys and the u18's, he even had that brilliant hearder saved in the first half against Walsall the other day, and the other things are Outby thinks he's not a "team player" and needs more "awarness" and i disagree, the kid takes up fantastic positions on the pitch and drops into the hole so brilliantly, to do that you have to be aware of whats' going on around you, i think the kid is just very confident in his ability so he tends to show his skills off, i don't think he's been greedy at all since he's started playing with the first team, he seems to grow in stature everytime he steps on the pitch now and that's very encouraging to see.

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All fair enough I think and I don't think we disagree on all that much with him really, the one thing that I really do agree with is this:

He seems to grow in stature everytime he steps on the pitch now and that's very encouraging to see.
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