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Transfer Assessment: Burnley

Burnley Sep 3, 2014
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Reality check for Dyche's men

Burnley Aug 19, 2014
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Sep 3, 2014

How did Burnley do in the window?

A record summer spend, a British transfer record and new manager trying desperately to rebuild the Premier League's most successful team.

Ins and Outs

Players in: Michael Kightly (Stoke, undisclosed); Steven Reid (West Brom, free); Marvin Sordell (Bolton, undisclosed); Matt Gilks (Blackpool, free); Matt Taylor (West Ham, free); Lucas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough, £1.5m); Stephen Ward (Wolves, undisclosed); George Boyd (Hull, undisclosed); Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea, loan); Michael Keane (Man United, loan)

Players out: Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth, free); David Edgar (Birmingham, free); Chris Baird (West Brom, free)

Summing up the window

The Clarets missed out on too many top targets with Troy Deeney and James McArthur deemed overpriced, while Craig Bryson and Henri Lansbury chose to sign new contracts at their current clubs rather than move to Turf Moor. The desperate last-minute scramble to sign Manchester United's Michael Keane on a four-month loan highlights the faults with Burnley's muddled strategy, while to leave it to the final day of the window to sign a specialist central defender and midfielder was alarming.

Too many of the new arrivals look like benchwarmers at best, and there's a lack of resale value across the 10 new faces. Critics would also suggest only two or three of the 10 signings are improvements on Burnley's strongest team in the Championship last season, and the modest spending of about 8  million pounds isn't going to get pulses racing among supporters.

However, Burnley held on to their best players, while the deadline-day arrivals of Keane, George Boyd and Nathaniel Chalobah add verve and quality to a thin squad. Burnley now have three current England under-21 internationals, more than any other club. 6/10

Best piece of business?

Chalobah is the most eye-catching arrival, although his initial loan is only until January. A rangy midfielder with superb ball retention, the 19-year-old can also play at the back. Big, strong and quick, Chalobah has all of the physical and technical attributes to be a huge success in the Premier League. Adored by Watford fans after a spell at Vicarage Road at the age of just 17, Chalobah had a more difficult time at Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough last season, but that can perhaps be explained by his struggles with growing pains that caused a variety of fitness issues. Chalobah should also add a useful goal threat from midfield with his long-range shooting.

Worst piece of business?

None of the new arrivals look like disasters, but Marvin Sordell has shown nothing in his brief appearances this season to suggest he's worth even the modest fee Burnley paid to take him from Bolton, where he flopped badly under the weight of a 3 million pound price tag. Stephen Ward's arrival was puzzling, too, given Burnley already had plenty of cover on the left.

The FA have completed their investigation into Bolton striker Marvin Sordell's claims that he was racially abused by Millwall fans
Marvin Sordell may struggle to assert himself.

What remaining issues are there?

Goals. Burnley have scored just once in four games and that strike came in the first 15 minutes of the season. The new partnership up front -- Danny Ings and Lukas Jutkiewicz -- has shown flashes of promise but is yet to jell and neither striker has looked particularly threatening. Burnley's start to the season has been tough, but winnable fixtures in September mean Ings and Jutkiewicz will have to start finding the net sooner rather than later.

Who can help in January?

Keane and Chalobah are due to return to their parent clubs in January, so Burnley will need to replace them with specialist central defenders and midfielders. But it's goals that keep teams in the Premier League, and if a proven striker like Cardiff City's Adam Le Fondre was available, he would be an astute addition. Le Fondre scored 12 goals in the Premier League for Reading in the 2012-13 season. However, as he only moved to Cardiff this summer, he might not be on the market. Lewis Grabban and Callum Wilson are alternatives, with both players on form in the Championship, although they also switched clubs during the summer transfer window.

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