Despite having sold two of their most influential players in the summer and being one of only four top flight clubs to have made a profit in the transfer market, Sean Dyche has managed to drastically improve his side.
Good coaching? Undoubtedly. Luck? Not as much as others would have you believe. Burnley may not dominate many games but they stick to a strict and effective game-plan and when chances do come along, they usually take them.
It’s why at the mid-point of the season, the Clarets are sitting in a European place. And there’s no reason why they can’t stay there, especially if smart signings are made in January.
Burnley won’t spend big but they tend to spend smart. If Dyche continues this pattern then the second half of the season could follow the pattern of the first, which will upset the stattos who constantly claim the Burnley bubble will burst.
But who should Burnley be targeting in January? Big names? Up and comers from the Championship?
In order to get a handle on what Clarets fans are thinking ahead of the transfer window opening on January 1, we canvassed the opinion of Burnley fan Ben from Fortress Turf Moor and Clarets supporter Liam Crane (@@LiamCraneUTC).
Which areas do Burnley need to strengthen in January and why?
FTM: When there have been injuries in defence other players have stepped in and done a great job, so that is not an area I am concerned about.
The obvious answer would be a winger as the injury to Robbie Brady has left us limited in terms of creativity and pace. That is not to knock the players that have stood in. It’s simply that players such as Scott Arfield perform a different function to that of Brady.
I would also like to see an attacking central midfielder with pace to give competition to Jeff Hendrick. Up front, I think we need to give a chance to Nahki Wells when he’s fully recovered from his injury before buying anyone else.
Name three realistic transfer targets you would like Burnley to sign in January and who should they replace in your starting XI?
FTM: Always a tricky one this as Dyche has a knack for signing players you wouldn’t expect and then getting them to perform at their very best.
I’d like to see us go for Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham for the left wing while, centrally, we should target the likes of Bobby Reid, Samuel Saiz or Kemar Roofe as they would give us some extra attacking flair.
Liam: If I could choose one player to replace Arfield – apart from Robbie Brady! – I’d go with Aaron Lennon. He is very quick and can get good crosses into the box.
What would your dream January transfer window look like?
Liam: My dream transfer window would be just to sign the players we need and not sell anyone.
However, many clubs raise their prices even more in January than in the summer, so I wouldn’t want us wasting cash on a player when the same player could be available for a cheaper price in the summer.
Although it’s not easy, I’d also like to see us complete the deals quickly so the players have time to settle in. But most importantly I’d like us to keep our key players until at least the end of the season.
What is your number one fear for the January window?
Liam: Not signing who we need to in time as we tend to leave it late. We need a creative and fast winger and not getting one could leave us too slow and predictable on the counter attack.
It could potentially stop us from getting a top ten finish, which is more than achievable.