Premier League transfer window: Who should Burnley sign?
Exploring the options for Sean Dyche this summer...
Last Updated: 17/05/19 11:31am
Where do Burnley need to strengthen this summer and what business might they do? We take a look...
Burnley bolstered their squad last summer in anticipation of a European campaign, but the most high-profile signings did not play a particularly big role. Joe Hart was axed at Christmas, Ben Gibson suffered with injuries and Matej Vydra had to settle for only three Premier League starts.
Sean Dyche relied on familiar names, supplemented by the emergence of Dwight McNeil and the fact that Ashley Westwood and Ashley Barnes enjoyed out standout seasons.
But after the scare of relegation - things looked bleak at the halfway stage - Dyche will surely be looking to strengthen this summer.
The pundit's verdict
Alan Smith: "They are well stocked up front with Barnes and Chris Wood, who have worked wonders together as a pairing. McNeil has been great and will only get better. They've also got Aaron Lennon and Steven Defour for next season, so attacking wise Sean Dyche might feel he doesn't need to spend too much.
"Those players suit the system and the way Dyche wants to play.
"At the back they have got Ben Mee and James Tarkowski in the middle but they haven't been as tight as previous years. Perhaps they will look to strengthen in midfield, where they don't have too much depth.
"They have a tight dressing room and depend on their togetherness so there will be a lot of research going into new signings and finding out about their character as much as their talent.
"They have also the goalkeeper situation with Tom Heaton, Nick Pope and Joe Hart in the squad. Heaton showed some great form coming back so you'd think he would be the No 1 going into the new season. I don't think Joe Hart would want to be hanging about if he's not No 1, so that might free up some funds for them to strengthen elsewhere."
What do the stats say?
Burnley attempted the fewest shots of any team in the Premier League, while at the other end of the pitch they faced the most shots of any team too. Not a great combination but Dyche found a way to defy the numbers once again.
Although there were some key personnel changes during the season, Burnley still made fewer changes to the starting line-up - just 49 of them - than any other Premier League club. The continuity is there but is it time for a bit of a shake-up?
The manager's view
Dyche on the transfer policy: "Regarding going out and getting other players then that needs work because the market doesn't care for Burnley's business model. That is the next challenge for this club. We are getting more depth to our knowledge in the European scene. In the meantime, we shop in the market that we know. We look at quality players."
Dyche on interest in McNeil: "I can't see him running away with any outside noise, he seems to be quite steady and enjoying his football. I look at some of the figures bandied about for some of these young players, and I don't know what you put on him. His worth to the team is what I'm more interested in."
What we know - The Sky Sports News insight
Fraser Dainton: "Having pulled themselves out of the relegation battle late in the season, Burnley will need to strengthen if they are to make sure they don't have the same problem again - but that might not be easy.
"It's no surprise the team's rise up the table coincided with the emergence of young talent McNeil on the wing. Keeping him at Burnley may be one of the best bits of transfer business the Clarets can do.
"Without the extra games of playing in the Europa League, Burnley are keen to bring in quality over quantity, while maintaining their policy of not over spending, and working within limited budgets. Stephen Ward and Anders Lindegaard are out of contract and leaving, but Phil Bardsley's deal has been extended by a year.
"Peter Crouch's short term deal has come to an end, so unless a new deal can be agreed, another back-up striker could be a priority, in order to create competition for the preferred strike partnership of Barnes and Wood.
"But defence is clearly where Dyche will be looking to improve, with a centre-half the most likely target. Tarkowski is understood to be attracting interest from other Premier League sides, and may have to be replaced. With Chelsea's Gary Cahill available on a free transfer - and given his north-west roots - he would certainly fit the bill and bring a wealth of experience. But his wage demands could be the sticking point.
"With three top-class goalkeepers on the books, Hart is seen as the most likely to leave the club if he wants regular first-team football, particularly with the re-emergence of Heaton after injury."
Which positions are Burnley targeting?
Burnley have wide-ranging plans, but their focus will be on a right-back, a left-back, a central-defender, a winger and a striker.
Read on: The summer transfer plan series continues...
Insight: Who should Chelsea sign?
Insight: Who should Everton sign?
Insight: Who should Leicester sign?
Insight: Who should Liverpool sign?
Insight: Who should Manchester City sign?
Insight: Who should Wolves sign?