On the face of it, this summer looks set to be vital for the Clarets, as they could be in for a major rebuilding process depending on how many players they lose.
Several players have been touted for summer moves away from Turf Moor, with Michael Keane and Andre Gray the most notable names to be linked with a move.
Keane and Gray are just two of a plethora of players who could depart Burnley in the summer, and here, I will take a look at the others who could join them in leaving Turf Moor, as well as those who could replace them…
Out: Michael Keane – In Harry Maguire
England centre half, Michael Keane, is attracting interest from a vast majority of the Premier League’s top sides. Manchester United have been linked with a move to bring him back to Old Trafford, but the front runner in the race to sign him appears to be Everton. With just over a year left on his current deal, you would expect Burnley will cash in on Keane in the summer, and after he turned down a new deal himself, you would suspect he may force the move himself. The perfect replacement – Harry Maguire. The 24-year-old has impressed for Hull City this season, and depending on what division the Tigers are playing in next season, Maguire could be a realistic target for Burnley. He is comfortable in possession and defensively solid; almost a clone of Keane.
Out: Andre Gray – In: Shane Long
A story linking Andre Gray to Tottenham, which emerged this weekend, took fans of both clubs by surprise. Burnley fans who see Gray play, week in, week out, will know that he isn’t the be all and end all up front. His pace and power makes him a handful for any defender, but that, for me, is the extent of his game. Gray has also been linked with Newcastle, and if anyone was to come in with an offer around £20m, I would have no hesitation in accepting it. On the pitch, he shows the signs of a player who doesn’t want to be at a club anymore. When he loses the ball, he never chases to win it back, and perhaps the clincher, he never claps the fans when he goes off. Unacceptable from a fans point of view. Shane Long would be the perfect replacement for Gray. Like Gray, Long has blistering pace, but the Irishman has so much more to his game. He has a very good first touch and has the work ethic that is necessary if you are going to play under Sean Dyche. Long is definitely a feasible target for the Clarets, and the Irish contingency developing at Burnley, could be a factor in attracting him to Turf Moor.
Out: Steven Defour – In: Dale Stephens
Defour only arrived at Turf Moor in the summer, but it looks as though he could be making a swift exit away from the North-West. The Belgian has struggled for regular game time during his time at Burnley, and when he has played, it has often been on the wing. He has been blighted by injury in recent months, but even when he has played, all be it, out of position, he hasn’t done anything to help himself. Personally, I don’t think he fits the mould of what Sean Dyche wants out of a centre midfielder and if the club had it to do over again, they wouldn’t have signed him. Someone who does fit the mould of a ‘Dyche player’ is Dale Stephens. The Brighton midfielder has been a long term target for Dyche, but he has so far proved elusive. Seven Burnley bids were knocked back by the Seagulls in the summer, but with Stephens out of contract at the end of the season, he could leave Brighton for free. The only complication comes in the fact that Brighton are going up, which could sway him to staying on the South coast, although if rumours are to be believed, he wants to move back to the North-West, and that could be the clincher in the deal.
Out: Scott Arfield – In Adama Traore
Arfield has been linked with a £10 million move to Newcastle. An awful lot of money, but if they are willing to pay that much, we should take it without hesitation. Arfield doesn’t really cut the grade in the Premier League and come the summer, he could be one who moves on. He is a very similar player to Boyd. They will work hard defensively, but going forward, they offer very little, and in the Premier League, that just isn’t good enough. The player I would replace him with is slightly left field, and will probably raise a few eyebrows – Adama Traore. He will come across to most football fans as one of those players who loves to attack and can’t be bothered to do the defensive work; but you would be wrong. I watched him closely when Hull played Boro and he came up against one of the league’s best attacking full backs in Andrew Robertson, but he never looked out of his depth. He tracked his attacking runs and caused him problems going the other way, so I would say that he could adapt to Dyche’s style of play. Traore would bring the excitement factor to Turf Moor – the ability to get fans out of their seats, which is currently something we don’t have. With Middlesbrough seemingly going down, you could definitely see the transfer happening too.
Other Potential In’s and Out’s:
Out: Kevin Long (Sale), Tendayi Darikwa (Sale), George Boyd (Out of Contract), Sam Vokes (Sale) and Joey Barton (Potential Ban)
In: Andrew Robertson (Hull City), Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), James Chester (Aston Villa) and James McArthur (Crystal Palace)
The above ‘In’s’ are players I would sign, not players who have been linked!!!!