There is only a month to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Burnley.
Burnley have done fantastically well to reach the Premier League on a shoestring budget and their fans will be delighted just to be playing top-flight football this season. They secured automatic promotion over the likes of financial heavyweights Queens Park Rangers but realistically face an uphill battle to stay in the league this season.
To those close to the club, Sean Dyche is nicknamed “the ginger Mourinho” and if he does manage to keep Burnley in the Premier League this season then people will really sit up and take notice of a very highly rated up-and-coming manager. Despite being tipped to finish 20th, the former Watford manager has been quick to point out that sides like Norwich and Crystal Palace have managed to survive in the league without making major big-money signings. He will be hopeful that Burnley can do the same.
Dyche has already been busy in the transfer market and landed 6 players. Michael Kightly has joined the club permanently having helped them secure promotion and he will have a point to prove in top-flight football after perhaps not fulfilling his potential. If they keep Kightly fit and in the right mind-set then he could prove a valuable acquisition. They have signed Matt Taylor and Steven Reid who have plenty of Premier League experience between them. Goalkeeper Matt Gilks and former Bolton man Marvin Sordell have also signed on the dotted line. Finally, Striker Lukas Jutkiewicz has joined the Clarets having fallen out of favour at former club Middlesborough.
Who is tipped to join them?
Danny Graham has been linked with a move but that seems unlikely as Jutkiewicz and Sordell have already been signed this summer who also play up front. That deal would probably only materialise if they are unable to keep hold of Danny Ings. DeAndre Yedlin has also been mentioned as being on their radar after an impressive World Cup. Although with bigger clubs sniffing around him, it is unlikely they would be able to land him.
Who should they sign?
In honesty, Burnley’s side looks very weak on paper and they could do with bolstering their options, particularly in defence. Given Dyche’s lack of funds it is likely that there won’t be too many more faces through the door but they might be hopeful of securing a centre-back with Premier League experience to help steady the ship and offer invaluable leadership at this level. Ivan Ramis has been touted for a possible move from Championship side Wigan. Ramis is an experienced defender who has played in both La Liga and the Premier League so could be a good option for the club.
Danny Ings. Ings was crowned as Championship Player of the Year last season having scored 26 goals in all competitions and will be expected to offer the fire power to keep them in the league. There has been interest in Ings from both Southampton and Newcastle but the player would be better served making his debut Premier League campaign with a side he already knows and is valued by. If he is a success and Burnley are relegated then that could be the time to move on. He’s a young player with a bright future in the game ahead of him and Burnley will be heavily reliant on him to produce the spark to extend their top-flight stay past this season.
Most people will expect Burnley to finish bottom of the pile and I’m no different. Dyche is a good manager and his players will be committed to the cause but I think they will be found out at this level, particularly at the back. Recent successes from the likes of Crystal Palace and Norwich can offer some thread of hope but it is difficult to see the Clarets avoiding the drop. Expect Burnley to finish 20th.