Aston Villa striker Nathan Delfouneso celebrated his new three-year contract and set himself the immediate target of challenging the likes of Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor for a starting place under Alex McLeish next season.

Delfouneso was handed his first Barclays Premier League start last season against Fulham, while he was also part of the England Under 21 squad for the recent European Championships in Denmark, and now he’s looking to take his club career to a new level.

Delfouneso scored twice for Villa last season before going on loan to Burnley, where he scored on his debut against Hull City, but next season the forward claims he wants his contribution to be in Villa's claret and blue. "I'm very happy with the new contract," said Delfouneso. "Hopefully that's the start of what I want to do for this season and for the future.


 

"It's time to kick on now. On a personal note I feel it's going to be a big season for me. It wasn't the best for me last season but I'm looking to start producing what I know I can.

"I'm very grateful and thankful that the club want me enough to offer me a new deal. Hopefully I can repay the faith they've shown in me."

With two full England international to compete with, Delfouneso also admits that squeezing himself in the reckoning in attack will be tough.

"Hopefully I can get myself involved right from the start," he added. "We've got top strikers here so I know it won't be easy, but I'm up for the challenge."

Delfouneso scored twice for Villa last season before going on loan to Burnley, where he netted on his debut against Hull City.

The player won the club's Young Player of the Year awards in 2008-09, after becoming the youngest ever player to play for Villa in Europe against FH Hafnarfijrour, and in 2009-10.

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Nathan Delfouneso
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