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1920 burnley steven defour 1000x500Steven Defour’s Burnley career is over after his contract was terminated by mutual respect to allow him to return to Belgium for family reasons.

Manager Sean Dyche explained: “Steven has worked really hard throughout the summer to get back to full fitness and has made excellent progress. We were looking forward to him playing some part for us later in the season, but for family reasons it is more appropriate for him to return to Belgium.

“We always put the welfare of a player first and hopefully by returning home he can resolve these issues and get the chance to resume his career nearer to his family home. Despite his bad luck with injuries, Steven has been an excellent player for us and big part of our squad.

“His quality is beyond question and no one will forget the key role he played in the first half of the 2017/18 season, when we laid the foundations to finish seventh in the Premier League and qualify for Europe.”

It’s just over three years since he made his Burnley debut in that 2-0 win against Liverpool in August 2016. It was a stop/start first season when he failed to complete ninety minutes in any league game.

But the 2017/18 season gave us the opportunity to see the real Defour. He played every game up until suffering an injury in January but in the season and a half since we’ve seen very little of him and when he came back briefly last season he looked nothing like the player he’d been for us.

He brought a quality to the midfield but I think most of us realised that he was never going to recapture that sort of form but we can remember some of his performances and drool over those three goals he scored for us against Hull, Bristol City and Manchester United.

I always recall someone posting on the message board on the day he signed for us that he would be the signing that would keep us up. I don’t know whether that ever proved to be the case but having seen him play for us, I can fully understand the comment.

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