Why Burnley should beat Bournemouth to the signing of Bristol City’s Joe Bryan
The 24-year-old left-back had a stunning 2017/18 campaign for the Robins and has been linked with a move to Burnley for quite some time now. The Clarets will have to face competition now though, from Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, along with a few Championship outfits as well.
Burnley had a brilliant 2017/18 campaign that saw them finish 7th in the Premier League table and qualify for UEFA Europa League for the first time ever in the club’s history. It is a monumental achievement from Sean Dyche and his squad, especially considering how they were tipped to get relegated.
Having made it to Europe, the Clarets would invariably want to strengthen their ranks in the summer to leave a mark on the continental competition and Bryan seems like a good choice. The Clarets have the experienced and the consistent Stephen Ward as their first-choice left-back, with the promising Charlie Taylor, who was signed from Leeds United last summer, as a back-up.
However, with Ward not getting younger and Taylor not having the best of the debut campaigns at the club, it makes sense for Dyche to go for Bryan.
Bryan came through the Bristol City academy and had loan spells away at Bath City and Plymouth before establishing himself as a first-team regular at the Ashton Gate. Till date, the full-back has gone on to feature 229 times for the Robins, scoring 21 goals in the process and registering 29 assists.
In the previous campaign, the Englishman found the back of the net on 7 occasions and set up 3 more in 48 appearances across all competitions and was one of the best left-backs in the English second division. Bryan was also extremely impressive in the Robins’ Carabao Cup semi-final run this season, scoring against Manchester United along the way.
Strong and dependable at the back, Bryan has proven to be an astute defender and backs it up with great attacking intent. Good at reading situations, his positioning allows him to make crucial interventions and he is a strong tackler as well.
Moreover, he is extremely pacey, which allows him to recover when caught out of position or hare down the flank and join the attack when needed.
His pace and dribbling abilities, coupled with quality end product means he has the ability to play in a more advanced role on the left-wing as he did on a number of occasions in the 2017/18 season with great impact.
Signing the 24-year-old would not only provide more depth at left-back for Burnley but he would also add more options on the flanks, given his ability to play in the attack as well.
Bryan has demonstrated that he is ready to make the step up to Premier League football and has all the necessary ingredients to make an immediate mark as Burnley’s left-back.
With Robbie Brady suffering a serious injury last season, he will need time to recover completely and add to that, the departure of Scott Arfield to Rangers on a free transfer, the Clarets could also use the 24-year-old in an advanced position.
Signing Bryan would invariably strengthen their squad in multiple positions and that is why they should act fast to beat Bournemouth and the other competitors to sign him up at the earliest.