NEC Nijmegen boss Mario Been says he has been hugely impressed with on-loan Fulham striker Collins John – even though he is unlikely to make his debut for the club until 2009.

The 23-year-old, who has two caps for Holland, struggled to make an impact at Craven Cottage and was allowed to leave to join Eredivisie side NEC on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day with an option to make the deal permanent.

And, although he has struggled with a muscle injury since his arrival and has yet to make a single appearance for the senior side, Been says he has seen enough to know that John is a real talent.

“I expect he will not make his debut until the new year,” he told Voetbal International.

“It’s very sad. If you can attract a player of his calibre, it is a shame when he cannot play.

“This past week, he has had to show what he can do in training again. I said to (assistant boss Ron de Groot), ‘Golly – this guy has so much talent!’

“Our coach was really impressed with his strength and pace, but he is far from match fit.”