Icelandic ace would ‘fit in really well’ at Turf Moor

Johann Berg Gudmundsson
Johann Berg Gudmundsson
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Icelandic international Johann Berg Gudmundsson will be a good fit for Burnley according to winger George Boyd.

The 25-year-old is on the verge of completing a £2.5m move to Turf Moor, which could rise a further £1m in add ons, and becoming boss Sean Dyche’s first signing of the summer after agreeing personal terms this week.

The right-sided midfielder, who is equally adept at operating as a playmaker in the number 10 role, is expected to seal his transfer from League One outfit Charlton Athletic when returning from holiday.

The Valley favourite, who netted six times while adding 11 assists to his resume last term in a side relegated from the Championship, played all but four minutes of his nation’s phenomenal Euro 2016 campaign.

Gudmundsson claimed an assist in the opening game of the tournament as Heimir Hallgrímsson’s men drew 1-1 with Portugal in Group F.

The former AZ Alkmaar player also featured in Iceland’s famous win over England at the Allianz Riviera in the knockout stages before the international minnows were beaten by hosts France in the quarter-final.

“I think there have been a few of the Icelandic players that have stood out,” said Boyd. “I think they all gave a great account of themselves and they all work hard. That’s something we like to do in our team so I think he’d fit in really well here.

“The gaffer demands that work rate from everyone and that’s one of his main attributes so he’ll fit right in.

“He got a lot of assists last year at Charlton in a team that was struggling so he would be a good addition.”

Questioned on the importance of character and personality of new additions to the dressing room, Boyd added: “It’s very important. There’s a lot more money this year but if the player doesn’t fit in to the team then it’s not going to work.

“It’s important to identify that they can fit in to this squad because we have the same mentality from top to bottom. It’s brilliant.”

Meanwhile, Boyd is hoping that it won’t be a case of ‘one in one out’ as Premier League champions Leicester City continue to monitor defender Michael Keane.

The former England under 21 international, inducted in to the Championship Team of the Year last season, recently rejected a new four-year deal at the club after the Foxes had a bid in the region of £11.5m knocked back.

The 23-year-old, who contributed to 20 clean sheets alongside Ben Mee at the heart of the Clarets defence during the title-winning term, still has two years remaining on his current contract.

Boyd, who car shares with the one-time Manchester United man when travelling to the Barnfield Training Centre, said: “He did so well last year. The fact that Leicester City are putting in the kind of bids that they are shows how well thought of he is.

“It’s important that we keep him but I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“He and Ben were unbelievable last year and they’ll be key assets for us again this season.

“Hopefully they’ll stay together and continue strengthening that partnership because clean sheets can win you games.

“We want to keep this team together. Obviously losing Joey (Barton) was a big blow but if we can keep the rest of the squad together then we’re more than capable of doing well at that level.”

Boyd added: “Me and him drive in together and I know he won’t let any of this affect him. He’s professional, he’s come back really fit and he’ll just take it in his stride.

“It’s a massive accomplishment for him to be the subject of that kind of money. They are in the Champions League and that’s where everyone wants to be.

“He’ll take confidence from that, take it in to next season and perform better for us.”

The squad reported back for pre-season training on Monday and will soon fly out to their training camp in Evian-les-Bains situated on the French-Swiss border. And Boyd admits that he’s glad to be back.

“It’s been good,” he said. “We go to Evian on Monday so that’s when things will get a bit harder.

“It was great last year. It’s good going away because you get to see the boys every day and bond that bit more. It was good last year and I’m glad that we’re doing it again.

“We kept in contact throughout the summer but it’s great to be back seeing everyone and it’s like we’ve never been away really.”