Aston Villa fans express their disappointment on Twitter at Callum Robinson's departure

Callum Robinson celebrates after he scores Aston Villa's first goal

The 21-year-old striker has joined Preston North End permanently after previously enjoying three loan spells at Deepdale.

Callum Robinson celebrates after he scores Aston Villa's first goal

After struggling to break into Aston Villa’s first-team over the past few seasons, Callum Robinson decided that the time was right to move on.

The 21-year-old striker joined Preston North End on Monday on a three-year deal after previously enjoying three separate loan spells at Deepdale, turning down a new contract with Villa to make the permanent switch up north.

He has already tasted success with the Lancashire club, having played a key role in their promotion to the Championship during the 2014-15 campaign, but the former England Under-20 international admits that it was still a tough decision to leave Villa Park for good.

“I'm really happy to get the deal done,” Robinson told Preston’s official website. “I've had a few loans here and I've really enjoyed my time with the lads and the coaching staff.

"It was obviously a big decision for me leaving Aston Villa - I've been there since I was eight-years-old - but if there was ever a club for me to settle down with and sign permanently with, it would be Preston North End.”

Preston North End's Jermaine Beckford (C) celebrates scoring their first goal with Callum Robinson (R) and Daniel Johnson

Robinson, who joined Villa at the age of eight, had been considered one of the club’s top prospects along with Jack Grealish after proving an integral part of their 2012-13 NextGen Series-winning side, but his first-team career in B6 never quite managed to get off the ground.

The Northampton-born forward made four brief Premier League cameos towards the end of the 2013-14 campaign after earning his professional debut in a 4-0 League Cup defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in September 2013, but he spent most of the next two seasons out on loan without making another competitive appearance for the claret and blues.

He had hoped to secure a spot in the senior squad going into last term after faring well during pre-season, but former manager Tim Sherwood ultimately decided that he would be better served joining Bristol City on a season-long deal.

The youngster only featured seven times for the Robins, however, before his spell was cut short in January, allowing him to re-join Preston for a third time for the remainder of the campaign.

Callum Robinson of Preston North End celebrates after the game

 In total, he played 43 times for the Lilywhites over the last two seasons while lining up mostly on the left wing, recording nine goals and four assists, but his most recent stint saw him find the back of the net just twice in 15 games.

Some Villa fans still wanted him to get another chance to impress back in B6, though, and the disappointment was clear to see on Twitter upon the announcement of his permanent departure.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch