Following an uncertain summer, with doubts raised over his future at Turf Moor, midfielder Steven Defour says that he’s very happy to be playing for Burnley again.
The 29-year-old, who arrived just over 12 months ago for a then-club record £7.4m signing from Anderlecht, had been weighing up his options having only made one start in the Premier League after suffering a calf injury in the 1-0 win over Leicester City in January.
The Belgium international was the subject of a bid from Olympiakos, who were prepared to take the player on loan, paying a small percentage of his wages, but the proposed deal wasn’t suitable for Defour or the Clarets.
That forced the former Standard Liege and Porto man to take stock of the situation and, having worked hard in pre-season, he now feels that he’s adapting to English football and, more importantly, boss Sean Dyche’s style of play.
After the 1-1 draw with Spurs at Wembley, the one-time Mechelen youth player said: “It’s a little bit of everything. It was just about me getting prepared to play for Burnley in the Premier League.
“It was [frustrating at times]. At some point when you’re not playing you must think about your options.
“Then at some point in pre-season I just said that I’m going to give it my all and we’ll see what happens.
“When you’re not playing you’re not quite as happy as when you are playing.
“I think I had a good pre-season and it’s shown at the start of this season.
“It’s going very good. I’ve adapted very quickly in pre-season and I’m very happy about it.”
And the proof is in the pudding as Defour’s contribution domestically was recognised by Roberto Martinez, with the Red Devils head coach preparing to take charge of his first couple of fixtures.
Defour was included in the squad for yesterday’s game against Spain at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels and for the World Cup qualifier away at Cyprus on Tuesday.
“I know if I can play here then I can show my quality,” Defour said.
“That will give me a chance to get picked up and that’s what happened. They go hand in hand.
“With playing in the Premier League it’s the best league in the world and you can show every time.
“When you get that result against Chelsea everybody sees it and now we’ve done it against Tottenham.
“We’ve got different goals of course. We want to qualify for the World Cup and we’ve got a good chance.
“But it starts with your team, your club, so if you put in good performances the national team speaks for itself.”