Clarets spreading the net to boost Dyche's options

Burnley are spreading the net at home and abroad to boost their squad ahead of the Premier League season.

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 11:51 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:27 pm
Rouwen Hennings arrived a year ago from Karlsruher SC

But any new faces will have to fit manager Sean Dyche’s “DNA” according to chief executive David Baldwin.

The club are busy behind the scenes lining up targets, but Baldwin admits the transfer market will take longer than usual to crank up, due to Euro 2016.

However, Baldwin is relaxed about the Clarets’ business – having made two of their key signings late in the window this time last year in Andre Gray and Joey Barton.

Rouwen Hennings arrived a year ago from Karlsruher SC

Baldwin said: “It’s busy. You’ve probably seen just generally with Premier League transfer activity that there are not a lot of names crossing the line as yet.

“There’s plenty of speculation, and I know that we’ve had quite a number of players that we’ve been linked with, but we don’t comment on those.

“All that happens in that case is the deal goes north. If you say that you’re interested in A, B or C then the reality is that A, B or C’s price goes up.

“From our point of view, we’re very busy behind the scenes because it’s really important that we tee up and get really good knowledge on the players that we want to go after.

Rouwen Hennings arrived a year ago from Karlsruher SC

“It’s very much a case of making sure they fit in to a group, environment and culture that’s already here and established at the club. I feel confident with time and patience that will occur.

“One good illustration of that is last season, it’s fair to say that both Andre and Joey had a big impact on the season that we had, yet neither one of them was in the building by the second week of August.

“We certainly shouldn’t be hitting the panic button on July 1st, that’s for sure.”

Two years ago, heading into the Premier League, Burnley’s business was predominantly British, but they have since landed Fredrik Ulvestad from Norway and Rouwen Hennings from Germany, while Belgian Jelle Vossen had a very brief stay last summer.

Baldwin added: “At the end of the day it’s what is right for Burnley Football Club and it’s what is right to fit into Sean’s DNA. We are open-minded, we have a European scout in provision in place. It’s not a case of ‘we haven’t got it so we won’t look’. That’s not the case at all; we have a number of potential targets that would fall under the foreign category and the British category.

“That list is constantly being reviewed and changed. That work hasn’t just started now, that work has been going on since last season. You’re constantly being made aware of where you’d like to make improvements in your team positionally and then you go out and identify any player in that position that you think what Burnley is about home and abroad.”

A story in the national press last week suggested Dyche will have £60m to spend, which, in terms of fees alone, is wide of the mark, but Burnley aim to give the manager as much help as they can in the market: “We’d never speculate on the finances, but what I would say is we’ll have a good go at it.

“Everybody’s threshold has moved up because of the new payments, so the reality is every club is going to be spending more than they did two years ago in the Premier League, so we’ve got to compete with that side of things as well.

“But we’ll be as competitive as we possibly can, without compromising the long-term future of the business, which is the most important thing.

“Nobody wants to consider relegation at this stage, but if things don’t go to plan, you have to make sure you’re strong enough to bounce back, which is exactly what we did, we came back strong because we had a strategy in place to be able to react to a negative position.

“We’re optimistic for Premier League retention and of being competitive, and they are the two key things.”

Meanwhile, the Premier League fixtures were released on Wednesday morning, with a home game with Swansea City first up for the Clarets, and Baldwin was pleased to avoid one of the superpowers: “I think it’s nice not to get one of the big, big names early doors, and that’s no disrespect to Swansea because everybody is difficult in the Premier League.

“Having an early home game is also a good one, and looking at the tail of the season, there’s two home games out of the last three.

“If you’re still in the fight there, and that’s how we want to be, then there are games there in which we can compete.

“We had four points after 10 games two seasons ago, so we would certainly like to improve upon that.

“There aren’t any easy fixtures and, though it’s cliched, you have to take one at a time.”