Sean Dyche on where he would like to strengthen his squad, with "more stretch" in Burnley's finances

Sean Dyche is "open-minded" about where he would like to strengthen his squad, but he expects there to be "more stretch" in the club's finances this summer under the new ownership.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 8:00 am
Josh Brownhill

Dyche had his hands tied effectively last summer, spending around £1m on midfielder Dale Stephens and goalkeeper Will Norris - the lowest spend in the Premier League, with the next lowest being Crystal Palace at around £20m.

However, he managed to earn a sixth-successive season in the top flight, with three games to spare, and, with ALK Capital having taken over the club in January, with the idea of giving the manager more clout in the market, Dyche is hopeful of less stress in the recruitment department.

Ideally, Burnley need at least one senior centre back, with James Tarkowski's contract entering its last year, Jimmy Dunne out of contract, and Ben Gibson due to confirm his £8m switch to Norwich City.

The Clarets are keen on Stoke City pair Nathan Collins and Harry Souttar, and long-time target Joe Worrall at Nottingham Forest.

And, after failing to replace Aaron Lennon last summer, and Robbie Brady leaving the club at the end of this season, wingers are a high priority.

But Dyche would look at any possibility on its own terms, as he said: "We're always open-minded - if we have to shuffle the pack, we would.

"We need quality, everyone knows that, we sometimes develop it here, and we have done, but we need to find the right blend.

"If we can recruit, can we find the right blend, can someone affect us immediately, push for a first team slot straight away and have that demand? Possibly players who could grow into that, where we've done well over a number of years, players who have to sit tight for a number of months, then come into the reckoning.

"Probably the most talked about recently was Josh Brownhill, who had to adapt to what we do, to the challenges, and he's done very well.

"So finding that balance all across different areas of the pitch and keeping our eyes and ears open, the little snippets you get in football.

"We're hopeful we'll have a little more stretch in the finances this summer though, we'll see."

More money doesn't necessarily mean an easier time of it in the market, however, as January showed, with ALK Capital eager to back the boss, but finding it difficult, with Dyche deciding to hang fire ultimatelty.

Dyche explained: “We’ll wait and see, the truth is what players are available, not just the money.

“You need money, of course, to make players available, but it’s not just about money, you need players available, the right players at the right time.

“We could have spent money in January, I didn’t feel there was too much there that would have helped us or pushed us forward, so it was a better thought to sit tight.

“I believed this team could get us to where we needed to be, and they have done.

“Can we build on that? We’ll wait and see this summer.

“But there’s no guarantees to it, not just because of the money, but you have to find the right players.

“It’s not an easy market, if it was, everybody would be signing the right players and they’d all be successful.

“It’s not always easy, recruitment is one of the toughest things in football."

And it remains to be seen whether there is a tightening of belts after the pandemic, and whether that means clubs being more prepared to sell players, or less inclined to spend: “It is guess work, no one quite knows how the pandemic will affect the market, so we’ll just wait and roll with it and wait on the shifting sands of football."