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Break comes at a bad time

Burnley Nov 11, 2014
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Jul 29, 2014

Burnley seeking further improvement

Sean Dyche has been busy in the transfer market but Burnley look under-strength as the big kickoff approaches.

No Premier League team has made more than Burnley's six signings so far this summer but the Clarets still look worryingly short of quality with under three weeks to go until the big kickoff.

All of the new arrivals look like useful additions to a thin squad but it's arguable none are improvements on the players already in place at Turf Moor.

Two of them -- Michael Kightly and Lukas Jutkiewicz -- are probably pencilled in to start the season opener at home to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, but Kightly was at the club on loan from Stoke City last season and former Middlesbrough striker Jutkiewicz appears to be a short-term replacement for the injured Wales international Sam Vokes.

The Clarets also have added experienced cover in the form of goalkeeper Matt Gilks and versatile midfielders Steven Reid and Matt Taylor, but none of these players are ones to get excited about. The last of the six, striker Marvin Sordell, represents a punt for a cheap sum. Jutkiewicz, with a one-in-three ratio for three different clubs, could prove to be an astute buy.

With only around 4 million pounds spent on transfers so far, Clarets boss Sean Dyche should still have a large amount left over, but Burnley have struggled to get their main targets in so far.

Watford striker Troy Deeney -- who has scored 45 goals in the past two seasons -- appears to be the big signing Burnley were after, but with a host of Premier League clubs chasing him and the Hornets demanding at least 10 million pounds for the 26-year-old, he looks out of reach.

Another main target, Derby midfielder Craig Bryson, seemed to use Burnley's interest to manufacture a better contract from the Rams while a move for a third, West Brom defender Craig Dawson, has been dragging on all summer.

Dyche's men are currently facing the Premier League season with a first 11 no stronger than the one that earned 93 points in the Championship last year. This is concerning but they were unfancied last season and turned out to be the surprise package of the division.

Many fans wrote off free signings such as Scott Arfield last summer, only for the Huddersfield Town reject to prove all his doubters wrong by contributing nine goals from midfield, including three winners.

Supporters might wonder why the club's priority seemed to be cheaper deals earlier in the summer, saving the bigger transfers for after preseason got underway.

It might just be a case of transfers not yet getting over the line but many would reasonably have envisaged the club's 3 million pound transfer record being broken at least once by now. It seems perplexing that vital areas of the squad such as central defence have gone unnoticed during the summer so far.

Whether Burnley make any more signings or not, the Clarets are likely to be among the fittest teams in the Premier League, with Dyche again putting together a finely drilled unit that will be competitive in the vast majority of matches this season.

But a couple of new signings down the spine of the side could make the difference come May.