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Balotelli on compassionate leave

By ESPN Staff

Bannan shuns another loan deal

Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan is prepared to fight for a first-team place rather than go out on loan.

Scotland international Bannan impressed Villa boss Gerard Houllier during the early part of his reign. But the arrival of Jean Makoun and Michael Bradley last month, plus the return to fitness of Stiliyan Petrov and Nigel Reo-Coker, served to intensify competition.

Bannan, 21, said: "I've had loan spells before at Derby and then last season at Blackpool which was brilliant for me. But I don't really want to go out on loan again. Now I've played in the Premier League, I think I'm good enough to play for this club.

"You want to be playing every week but I'm still young and I've had a good few first-team games already this season. I wouldn't say I'm frustrated but, after a taste of it, I want more.''

Bannan, who recently signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract, added: "The gaffer has been brilliant with me and kept my head up.

"He let me know I'm a big part of his plans. He didn't have to go out of his way to do that, but he has which was reassuring. I know I've come a long way in a short space of time.''


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