With Heskey out, surely now is Delfouneso’s chance to shine

Written by Dan on November 4, 2010

You’ve probably already seen that Emile Heskey tore the medial meniscus in his right knee in training and will require an operation, keeping him out for three to four weeks.

With Gabby still on the come back trail after his own operation, John Carew always susceptible to a sudden injury, if this is not Nathan Delfouneso’s chance to get some time on the pitch, I don’t know when is.

With so many of the youngsters getting a look in so far this season, Delfouneso has been conspicuous by his absence. Marc Albrighton has led the way, but Ciaran Clark, Eric Lichaj, Barry Bannan and even Jonathan Hogg have had starts this season while Nathan has been limited to four substitute appearances; both legs of the Rapid Vienna game, early on against Blackburn in the Carling Cup, and a cameo against Chelsea, totalling just under 100 minutes without injury time.

Before his unfortunate injury in Austria, Andreas Weimann was arguably carrying more favour than Delfouneso. No one at the club knows these young players better than Kevin MacDonald and he certainly wasn’t throwing Delfouneso into the action when he had the opportunity.

He has been on good form with the reserves lately though, scoring in the 2-0 with over Arsenal in Colney this week and a quickfire brace in the 3-2 victory over Wolves a couple of weeks ago to secure the three points.

Hopefully whatever has been keeping him away from the limelight is nothing more than a lack of confidence. I watched him during the summer with England Under-19s and he was one of the standout players in an pretty uninspiring team, but didn’t manage to get on the score sheet in four games.

All strikers thrive on goals, if it is confidence that Delfouneso needs, perhaps some can be derived from the fact that on a minute-for-minute basis, he was technically our most deadly striker in the Premier League last season with a goal every 189 minutes. Yes, he only scored one goal and only played 189 minutes, but it’s still a statistically accurate statement.

Unfortunately, Curtis Davies also scored a goal last season and he only played 180 minutes so… er… maybe we could recall him from Leicester – something that he wouldn’t be too keen on if reports are to be believed by the way.

Regardless, with three of the five recognised first team strikers currently out of action, Nathan Delfouneso must surely be expected to get on the pitch at Craven Cottage this weekend.

Surely? Right?