Having again been linked with a move for West Brom wideman Matt Phillips, Sean Dyche admits he is on the lookout for a winger in January.
Aaron Lennon isn’t expected to return until February at the earliest, following a knee operation last month, while Robbie Brady, now fit again, is suspended for three games, having been sent off after coming on as a substitute at Huddersfield.
That leaves just Johann Berg Gudmundsson and 19-year-old Dwight McNeil as out and out wide options, although Dyche has used Ashley Barnes off the left on occasion.
Dyche said: “Azza’s not close yet. It will be weeks rather than a week. The surgeon was happy with what was done, but it won’t be a few weeks, it will be more than that. We’ve just got to let it settle, but he will be over a month, I’d be amazed if he gets back quicker than that.
“So we have got to look at that.
“But the rules don’t change at Burnley, it is not like we are just going to magic up £50m quid and sign who we want so they have got to be available.
“With Robbie away, we’ll see what happens with that obviously.
“Dwight is obviously young, we like what he’s doing, and with Johann, being the main three.
“Barnesy has operated out there previously for us and for Brighton. He knows the role, not natural, but he can come in off the wide position and still cause problems. We know he can do that, but we do like the balance, the team being natural in its balance, and I thought that was important when we brought Dwight in because it gave us that balance, so we’ll see.
“If something is available, we’ll definitely be looking, but it depends on the availability of players.”
Should Burnley go in for Phillips, who has been outstanding as the Baggies push for an Immediate to the Premier League, there is no guarantee West Brom would do business.
But Dyche admits the Championship remains a big market for the club: “I think predominantly that is one of our markets. It is hard enough to try and get players out of the Championship now for what I call real money, as in sensible viewpoint money.
“You try and go to the Premier League, and as you can imagine the numbers just go north. It is very, very difficult, the market is very unforgiving.
“The numbers keep getting broken by a key position, I think Maddison was this year’s one at £21m, I don’t think anyone expected it to be anywhere near that.
“Not because he is not a fine player, because he is a fine player, but just looking at the market as a norm.
“But then there are no norms in the market now, so once one breaks the mould, then every club who have got a player at least similar to that go ‘well if he is worth that then he must be worth whatever’ so it just keeps getting broken.
“Clubs look at business models differently now, some clubs are not in good shape but they just keep hanging on until they got what they want so it is a really tough market, a really, really tough market.”
And when you see clubs such as Chelsea wanting in excess of £30m for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is yet to start a Premier League game, Dyche admits that is where the market is now at, paying vast sums for potential “There are some enormous figures being bandied about for a player who hasn’t kicked a ball.
“For a lot of people now, it is the suggestion of what are they going to be and there are no guarantees on that.
“Some clubs will get the risk and reward scenario of ‘that is our player and we are going to go and get them and see what comes’. And some, like ourselves, have to be a bit more frugal with it.
“We have to be because of the business model of the club. It is very difficult, it is a challenge that I have enjoyed, it has its frustrations at times but that is the market.
“And if that (Hudson-Odoi) does happen, then guess what happens to every promising 19/20-year-old? If he, for argument’s sake, goes for £30m, then how much is the next worth, and how much are the ones that are playing worth?
“And the market then gets skewed and once that gets skewed, everyone finds a reason to say ‘this is why we want that amount of money’, whether that is right or wrong is irrelevant. You only need one to break the boundary.”