- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
Coming into the new season, it was all about building upon a solid comeback into the Premier League, for Burnley. Sean Dyche’s side enjoyed a decent season back in the top-flight last term when many tipped them for relegation. They may have ended up in the 16th place due to some bad results towards the end of the campaign, but never really looked under any threat for the drop.
This summer was going to be about strengthening the ranks in order to be able to build from last season and the Lancashire based club had an active transfer window. Before getting into how the club went on in the window, let’s take a look at the business they were able to complete.
The biggest departures from the Turf Moor this summer were those of star players Michael Keane and Andre Gray. The defender was sold to Everton for a fee that could rise up to £30million, whereas the striker joined Watford FC for £18.5million.
George Boyd decided to move on after his contract expired, along with Michael Kightly and a number of other fringe players. Strikers Chris Long and Dan Agyei were sent out on loan along with defenders Luke Hendrie and Tom Anderson.
The window began with the free transfer of Charlie Taylor from Leeds United, before the club brought in experienced pro Jonathan Walters from Stoke City for a £3million fee. Jack Cork returned to the Turf Moor after five years, when he was signed from Swansea City for £10million.
Another signing from Stoke City arrived in the form of Phil Bardsley, which was followed with the free transfer of goalkeeper Adam Legzdins, before the club went about breaking their transfer record to sign marksman Chris Wood from Leeds United for £15million. On the deadline day, the Clarets brought in Bermudian striker Nahki Wells from Huddersfield Town, which cost them another £5million.
The sale of Michael Keane, who was arguably the club’s best player last season, wasn’t going to be an easy one. But the Clarets did well to hold out for the fee that they received, for a player who was in the final year of his contract. His departure will have been felt, but in James Tarkowski and Kevin Long, they have defensive options to cover for it. However, another centre-back addition could have been made before the transfer window closed.
Andre Gray’s exit is another huge sale from the club this summer, given how important he had become since his move from Brentford. But, bringing in Chris Wood, a very much like-for-like replacement for the Englishman will have eased the effect of losing him.
The New Zealand international is coming on the back of an excellent campaign in the Championship for Leeds and has hit the ground running for Burnley, scoring on his league debut for the club in the 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur. He has the ability and the potential to grow into one of the most lethal forwards in the Premier League.
Add to that, the deadline day signing of Nahki Wells from Huddersfield, it provides them with more options at the top. The 27-year old will add a different dimension to the Burnley forward line with his pace and direct running, and could prove to be a more than decent signing.
George Boyd’s departure hasn’t been allowed to be felt by the resurgence of Johann Berg-Gudmundsson and if need be, Jon Walters too will fill on the right-hand side. Given his immense wealth of experience and the know-how of the game, he is going to be a valuable addition, even if it’s for the shorter term. The same goes to Phil Bardsley who will serve as an able backup for Matthew Lowton, at right-back.
Charlie Taylor was actively pursued by a number of clubs in the Premier League, but the Clarets beat everyone to his signature. The Englishman is a great prospect and will push first-choice left-back Stephen Ward to a great extent, for a spot in the playing XI, increasing the overall quality of the squad.
One of the biggest gains from the window though, was that the club were able to hold on to midfielder Steven Defour. The Belgium international is one of the technically most sound players at Dyche’s disposal, but hadn’t played for major portions of last season, sparking rumours of a sale at the end of the term. However, a lack of offers, combined with a renewed attitude in the midfielder meant that he stayed put at the Turf Moor, and has already began to show his quality. Defour and summer signing Jack Cork form a solid central midfield partnership.
Despite the sales of their best players in Keane and Gray, Burnley have had a solid summer window, where they have gone out and brought in some good quality, Premier League tested and experienced players. They have good depth in all areas, but another centre-half could have made a good summer into a better one.