Burnley have been one of the biggest surprises of this season. Largely tipped to face the drop at the beginning of the season, Sean Dyche’s men, against all odds, find themselves comfortably above the relegation zone at 13th place. One of the best teams at home this season, the Clarets have been extremely hard to beat at the Turf Moor.
With still nine games to be played, they still stand a chance to break into the top half of the table, or at least better their current position. While it has been a team effort, with all the squad members chipping in with their share of contributions, their charge has been led by striker Andre Gray.
The 25-year old Englishman has scored 8 goals so far in the Premier League from 22 appearances and is the top goal-scorer for Burnley this term. He also has 2 assists to his name. Much like last season, where he propelled Burnley to the Premier League with his goals, Gray has been instrumental for the Clarets putting up a decent showing this season.
As a result, he has attracted many suitors who want to secure him in the upcoming transfer window. There has been reported interest from the likes of West Ham United, Southampton and Premier League-bound Championship side Newcastle United.
It is unlikely that Dyche would want to see his star striker leave, but if a big transfer offer comes in, the club may very well be tempted into a sale. And if it so happens that Gray leaves Burnley, here are two replacements who Burnley could target in the summer:
After having left Burnley two years ago to join Liverpool, there may well be a return back to the Turf Moor on the cards for Danny Ings.
The Englishman has struggled to get settled at Anfield and hasn’t been helped by a string of injuries; the latest one ruling him out of the ongoing season. Given that Jurgen Klopp has Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi as options ahead of him, with Daniel Sturridge out of favour, a new striker will definitely be arriving at the Merseyside, leaving Ings further down the pecking order.
Burnley are well aware of his abilities, having seen him score 43 goals from 130 appearances during his time with them that lasted for four years. The striker could use a return to familiar surroundings to resurrect his career.
Another option that Burnley could look at is raiding EFL Championship side Aston Villa to sign their striker Jonathan Kodjia.
The 27-year old has scored 15 times in 34 Championship games this season and the leading goal-scorer for Villa and 5th best in the competition. Kodjia also has 2 assists to his name. With Villa looking at another season in the Championship as they find themselves at 12th position in the standings, the Clarets could tempt the player with Premier League football.
Considering the fact that the two clubs did business earlier in January, when Burnley signed midfielder Ashley Westwood from Villa, this move could go through as well if Dyche shows some interest.