How Burnley XI may look on opening day; £4m striker joins 5 new signings
It’s a summer of change at Burnley. And not just in the dugout either.
Just one week after being officially unveiled as Sean Dyche’s permanent successor, Vincent Kompany’s time in charge of the Clarets looks set to begin with the loss of Nick Pope; One of the finest shot-stoppers in England and Burnley’s most consistent performer during a torturous 2021/22 campaign.
Pope is on the verge of joining Newcastle United.
And the England international is not going to be Burnley’s only high-profile departure either. The impending exits of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee robs Kompany a long-standing centre-back partnership that will go down in Turf Moor folklore.
Furthermore, It is common knowledge that Maxwel Cornet has a £17 million release clause in his contract. That that is unlikely to remain un-triggered for long. Meanwhile, Wout Weghorst, despote only arriving from Wolfsburg in January, has little interest in playing second-tier football in the lead up to the Qatar World Cup.
Besiktas president Ahmet Nur Cebi confirmed recently that ‘we have shaken hands with Weghorst economically’ ahead of a likely move to Turkey.
Incomings and outgoings at Burnley
But it’s not all bad news.
According to Lancs Live, Josh Brownhill and Charlie Taylor should follow in Jack Cork’s footsteps, committing their future to Burnley for the time being. Dwight McNeil has plenty of admirers but is not the number one target for any of them while, per The Athletic, The Clarets are under ‘no pressure’ to cash in on the highly-promising Nathan Collins.
What’s more, Kompany’s reputation – both at home and abroad – can only help with regards to bringing in a fleet of fresh faces. Burnley are unlikely to return with a third bid for Oxford United defender Luke McNally, sayThe Athletic, but Swansea City’s Joel Latibeaudiere could be an affordable alternative. Especially now Swans boss Russell Martin has been reunited with former MK Dons ace Harry Darling.
The seemingly inevitable arrival of Dan Ballard from Arsenal, however, will lessen the need for defensive reinforcements. Per The Athletic, a player who shone on loan at Millwall will undergo a medical at Burnley soon.
Scott Twine in?
Further forward, Burnley have reportedly offered £4 million for MK Dons’ Scott Twine. Scorer of 20 goals from attacking midfield last term, the set-piece specialist would add some much-needed thrust and unpredictability in central areas. The pursuit of Twine could be ramped up after another target – Jed Wallace – sealed his move to West Brom.
Blackpool’s Jordan Gabriel is another EFL prospect on Kompany’s radar. And the former Arsenal youngster is not the only right-back to emerge as a target for Burnley in recent days. Michael Amir Murillo, an attack-minded £3.5 million Panama international, shone under Kompany at Anderlecht last term.
As did tireless Republic of Ireland international Josh Cullen, a potential replacement for the injured Ashley Westwood. Majeed Ashimeru, a more attack-minded, creative midfielder, has held talks with his former RCSA boss but hopes to stay put and play European football with Anderlecht in 2022/23.
Mandela Keita, a 20-year-old dynamo labelled ‘a mix between N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba’, may be a more attainable target. Kompany is reportedly convinced that 6ft 4ins KV Mechelen targetman Makhtar Gueye can thrive at Burnley too, especially with the likes of McNeil and Taylor providing services from out wide.
A likely Weghorst replacement, Gueye scored 13 goals last season. Burnley will reportedly stump up £4 million.
A Jupiler League haul
Finding someone capable of stepping into Pope’s shoes at the other end of the pitch may be the biggest test facing Kompany and his recruitment team, however.
Then again, 35-year-old Wayne Hennessey proved there is life left in the old dog with an inspired showing during Wales’ World Cup qualification victory over Ukraine recently. And, according to The Sun, Kompany could request a favour from his old employers with the Burnley boss a big fan of Manchester City’s Aro Muric.
Muric was a disaster on loan at Nottingham Forest in 2019/20. But he’s a more mature, confident, reliable glovesman these days.
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