Pieters signing is shrewd business for Burnley - Stoke reporter

Erik Pieters
Erik Pieters

Erik Pieters could be a shrewd piece of business for Sean Dyche and Burnley, according to the Sentinel’s Stoke City reporter Martin Spinks.

The Clarets wrapped up a deal for the 30-year-old this afternoon, after six years with the Potters, and Spinks feels the Netherlands international will fit nicely into a side renowned for its defensive organisation.

Spinks said: “If Burnley's priority is a left back whose attacking instincts make him more suited to really being a wing back, then they might be disappointed.

“But if they essentially want a thoroughly reliable Premier League defender, then they might just have their man.

“And for an initial £1m, for a 30 year-old with a 169 Premier League appearances to his name, they appear to have completed a useful bit of business.

“Pieters was the first signing of the Mark Hughes era, but don't hold that against him because in those days Hughes used to sign decent players.

“During Stoke's heyday in the top flight - three ninth-placed finishes between 2014 and 2016 - Pieters was the first-choice left back commanding few headlines for the right or wrong reasons.

“He was happy to let others take the limelight and, as they say, if you don't notice a defender he must be doing a good job.”

Things didn’t end well at the Bet365 Stadium, as the Potters were relegated in 2018, and Spinks added: “Pieters remained a thoroughly likeable character in and around the club and just about survived the one real blot on his copybook during his six years at the club.

“That came when he broke a pre-match curfew by appearing in a nightclub (not drinking he insists) the evening before a match towards the end of the relegation season when all kinds of wheels were coming off.

“The fact he posed for a photograph while at the club says something about his naivety or arrogance as it inevitably found its way onto social media.

“During the first half of last season he revealed a hitherto hidden talent for spectacular goals by bagging two (at Preston and West Brom), but once Nathan Jones replaced Gary Rowett in January it was clear his face didn't fit anymore.

“Probably because Jones wants energetic `wing backs' playing full back in his midfield diamond system and that just isn't Pieters.

“But ask him to defend, and defend sensibly, and he'll produce far more often than not.”