A Dream Burnley Lineup For 2017/18 Season
Sean Dyche has done a brilliant job since taking over at Burnley since 2012. The Englishman, in his four and a half years in charge at the Turf Moor, has led the Clarets to the Premier League twice. and doing so by winning the EFL Championship title once in those two attempts.
While the first time, they couldn’t survive the rigours of the English top division, this time around, Dyche and Burnley have managed to tough it out and contrary to popular opinion at the start of the season, have managed to secure their Premier League status for the upcoming season as well.
Burnley currently occupy 15th place in the Premier League table, on 40 points with just one more game left to be played and look set for a finish in a similar position. However, Dyche will be keen on improving his side in the summer, so as to challenge for a place in the top-half of the table.
While some of the key players from this term may be headed for an exit (read Michael Keane and Andre Gray), the Clarets have been linked with a move for several players ahead of the summer window. Here is how the Burnley line-up could look like next season, with all the potential incomings and exits:
Manager: Sean Dyche
It is unlikely that Dyche will look to change the shape of his team, considering that the 4-4-2 has brought him plenty of success in the recent past.
Tom Heaton (GK)
The 30-year old captain and custodian has been an inspirational presence on the field for Burnley. He will lead the side again come next season.
Matthew Lowton (RB)
The 27-year old has been a fairly solid presence at right-back and is a decent option to have in the ranks. He will stay in the backline for the next campaign as well.
Kyle Bartley (CB)
With Michael Keane’s exit just a mere formality, Burnley will be keen on signing a replacement. And as per reports from The Sun, they seem to have zeroed in on Swansea City centre-half Kyle Bartley who has excelled on loan at Leeds United. He has the ability to replace the former Manchester United man.
Ben Mee (CB)
Has gone under the radar a little, with everyone raving about Keane’s performances. Mee has been equally solid, if not more than the England international and will keep his place in the side.
Stephen Ward (LB)
May not be the flashiest of the full-backs but gets the job done quite well. Another position where Dyche will not tinker much but may look to bring in backups.
Marley Watkins (RM)
The Barnsley midfielder is widely expected to leave as his deal with the club comes to an end. Burnley have been linked with a move as per reports from ClubCall and considering that he has 10 goals and 9 assists for the Tykes, he will be a major improvement on George Boyd and will be available for free.
Jeff Hendrick (CM)
The Irish international has become a mainstay in the midfield since his arrival last summer. Unlikely that he will be replaced from the starting XI.
Steven Defour (CM)
The Belgian has the quality and the talent to succeed, as he showed in the earlier parts of the season. Injuries have hampered him from flourishing but if he manages to stay fit next season, there’d be few better options than Defour in the Burnley squad.
The versatile Brentford man has been a subject of interest for the Clarets for a while now. Jota has the ability to score and create goals in plenty from the wide areas. Provides options for Dyche as he is equally comfortable on either flank.
Ashley Barnes (ST)
The 27-year old is expected to stay put and occupy one of the two positions up front for Burnley. He will, however, need to deliver more goals next campaign.
Sam Vokes (ST)
With Andre Gray’s future at the club in doubts, Dyche may turn to Sam Vokes to fill in the void and look to have someone like Dan Agyei as a backup. The Welshman has been scoring freely in recent weeks and at 27, will be entering his best years.