Playing against some of the best wingers in world football has triggered a spurt in Charlie Taylor’s growth as a defender in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old full back, signed from Leeds United in 2017, hasn’t missed a minute of football in the top flight since coming in to the team in a 2-0 loss against Manchester United at Turf Moor in September.
Taylor has already jousted with the likes of Bernardo Silva and Mo Salah this season and, with contenders for the Champions League and Europa League still to play, it’s not going to get any easier in the final four games.
“The Premier League is such a tough league and I’m learning and improving with every game,” he said. “You come up against world class players so it’s a real tough test every week.
“I think the confidence comes with games and the more games you play the more confident you get. I’m loving playing every week.
“I’m playing at the highest level I’ve ever played at and I’d definitely agree [that he’s playing best football of career] but that comes with playing every week.
Once you step up to the Premier League it takes time to get used to it but I feel I’ve got used to it now. I still need to improve and I want to improve and keep on going.”
Taylor added: “There’s no easy game in the PL and every team seems to have a world class right winger so as a left back it is hard. It’s even hard outside the top six so for me, personally as a left back, there’s no easy game.
“The right wingers in this league are really top class but you want to test yourself against the best.
“You don’t get a slow right winger but I really enjoy testing myself against the best. Playing against better players you have to improve yourself.
“In this league you can’t switch off for a second and I’ve learned that because it is a huge step up from the Championship.”
Taylor, who was the recipient of the Whites’ Player of the Year award in his penultimate term at Elland Road, has really hit it off with teenage prodigy Dwight McNeil down the left hand side.
And his performances alongside the former Manchester United academy player have put him in contention for the biggest prize at Burnley’s end-of-season awards evening.
“It’s nice to hear,” he said. “I feel like I’ve had a good season and improving with every game. Hopefully long may that continue.
“I’ve hit it off straight away with him [Dwight]. He’s a huge talent and someone I’ve enjoyed playing every minute with. I know when I give him the ball I’m going to get it back.”