After being promoted to the Premier League following a dominant Championship campaign, Burnley have had a busy summer transfer window, preparing the squad for the upcoming season. Any recently promoted side usually looks to strengthen their defense and this was Burnley’s top priority this window.
The Clarets signed two center backs and two goalies, making sure they have both quality and depth at these crucial positions. Succeeding in the Premier League is no easy task and Burnley have made the acquisitions of emerging youngsters as well as seasoned veterans in hopes of doing more than just staying up in the Premier League.
Zeki Amdouni is one of the most exciting striker talents outside of the top 5 leagues. After an impressive UEFA Conference League Campaign with FC Basel last season, Amdouni is hoping to apply that same finishing touch to the Premier League. In 11 games in the UEFA Conference League, the 22-year-old scored 7 times and in the Super League has 12 goals and 5 assists in 32 appearances.
Amdouni is a versatile forward, most comfortable in the center of the pitch, however, he has seen time on the wing. Standing at 6’1, Amdouni does extremely well to hold off defenders and use his frame to maintain possession. While excelling at receiving the ball with his back to the goal he also does well to carry the ball up the pitch.
He is also extremely gifted defensively, averaging 1.95 interceptions per 90 putting him in the 99th percentile of all strikers. Amdouni also has a great burst of speed and ability to take players on in a 1 vs 1 situation. He is extremely hard to defend since he is extremely comfortable with both feet and can go either way. The young, Swiss, center-forward looks to make his mark at Turf Moor and the Premier League.
James Trafford arrives at Burnley for €17.30m after a standout performance in the European Under-21 Championship, which he helped England win. The 20-year-old had numerous crucial saves in the tournament, even saving a penalty in the dying embers of the final against Spain.
Last season, while on loan at Bolton in League One, Trafford appeared for the Wanderers 45 times. In these 45 appearances. Trafford had a save percentage of 78.8% according to FBRef. Manager Vincent Kompany is extremely excited about the arrival of the young English goalie and believes Burnley will be the perfect place for further development to occur. Trafford excels at making reaction saves as well as reading where the opposition will place the ball. His positioning allows him to use his length to reach far corners, where the attackers usually look to place the ball.
Trafford will face competition for the starting job as Arijanet Muric featured 41 times for the Clarets in the Championship last season. The 24-year-old only conceded 31 goals, boasting a low goals-against number of .77 per 90 placing him in the 95th percentile compared to all other goalkeepers. Both played for Manchester City’s academy before making numerous loan moves until both permanently moved to Turf Moor. Burnley have also signed 29-year-old Lawrence Vigouroux from Leyton Orient and Denis Franchi remains in the squad.
Kompany, having played under Pep Guardiola, believes it is crucial for goalkeepers to play a role in both possession and build-up. When searching for a goalkeeper last summer, Muric possessed this skillset which allowed Kompany to implement his tactics for the Clarets.
Following an amazing campaign last season at Burnley, Jordan Beyer returns to Turf Moor on a permanent move from Borussia Monchengladbach for €15.00m. Making 30 appearances for the Clarets last season, Beyer was crucial for the solid backline of Burnley that only allowed 35 goals in 46 matches. The 23-year-old is a very progressive center back, looking to take space that the opposition allows him or by passing forward to a teammate who is occupying the space.
Beyer averages 1.60 progressive carries per 90 which is in the 95 percentile compared to all center backs. While an extremely gifted dribbler going forward, Beyer’s passing ability is second to none. While boasting impressive completion percentages, Beyer averages 80.68 passes per 90. This statistic showcases Beyer’s desire to get on the ball and serve as a ball-playing center back. Burnley’s possession and build-up play starts from the back, where the goalkeeper and central defenders pull the strings.
Burnley have managed to do fantastic business and get the signature of Dara O’Shea from West Brom for only €7.80m. O’Shea was a key defender for West Brom, the captain of the Baggies, and organized the defensive shape and line. The center back partnership of O’Shea and Beyer could prove to be extremely successful next season. Much like Beyer, O’Shea is a ball-playing center back who loves to begin the build as well as use progressive passes to split the defense.
Unlike Beyer, O’Shea doesn’t carry the ball up the pitch as often, and his ability to stay back and control the shape and line of the defense could be a perfect combination to Beyer’s forward runs. O’Shea also thrives in the air, winning 4.24 battles per 90. Beyer struggles in the air, so partnering him with someone like O’Shea who is dominant in the air is perfect. O’Shea along with Beyer look to strengthen the defense of Burnley who will certainly face challenges adapting to the new level of attacking prowess on display in the Premier League.
Joining Burnley from Swansea for €5.00m on a permanent move, Michael Obafemi looks to continue to provide an attacking threat for the Clarets. Joining Burnley on loan from Swansea at the January transfer window, Burnley decided to activate Obafemi’s buy clause. Obafemi made 12 appearances, scoring only two times and providing a singular assist.
Obafemi is great attacking depth for Kompany’s squad and while still young, his upside is still high. While it wasn’t the most successful start to his Burnley career, the 23-year-old Irishmen looks to have a more successful campaign in the Premier League this season.
Luca Koleosho, an 18-year-old Italian winger who oozes potential, is the most recent transfer to join the Clarets. Joining for 3.00m from relegated side RCD Espanyol, the winger has extreme upside and will look to further his development at Turf Moor. Playing for the Italian Under-19 side in the European Championships, he helped his side win the competition.
Having only made 4 appearances in La Liga last season, Koleosho will be hoping for increased game time to achieve more experience. Burnley have sufficient depth at the winger position and will be looking to loan out Koleosho in hopes of increasing his developmental progress and aid the team in the future.
No stranger to the Premier League, Nathan Redmond hopes to use his years of experience to help Burnley stay up. He joins the Clarets on a free deal. Familiar with the relegation battle after playing 9 years in the Premier League with Norwich City and Southampton, Redmond’s experience could be crucial to a very young Burnley side. After spending last season in Turkey with Besiktas, scoring 5 times and assisting 5 times in 25 appearances, Redmond looks to make crucial goal contributions to aid Burnley’s Premier League campaign.
Redmond is a pacy winger who excels at taking individuals on in 1 vs 1 situations. Redmond loves to be on the ball and drive at the opposition’s defense until he either beats them off the dribble or slips a teammate in behind with a composed pass. With the ability to receive the ball out wide or drop into the half-space and receive the ball with his back to goal, Redmond offers versatility on the wings.
Joining from League Two side Leyton Orient, Lawrence Vigouroux provides depth at the goalie position and will likely be the third-choice keeper this season. The 29-year-old brings years of experience to an extremely young goalkeeper core and will use his experience and wisdom to mentor the younger keepers. Vigouroux joins Burnley for €300k.
Wout Weghorst returns to Burnley following his loan spell at Premier League side, Manchester United. Weghorst joined the Red Devils at the January transfer window and made 31 appearances in all competitions scoring 1 time and providing 1 assist. While early in the summer a move away from Burnley looked to be in the cards, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
The 30-year-old had an interesting time at Manchester United, often being in the right places but failing to convert his opportunities. Weghorst is known for his defensive prowess, a pressing forward who excels at winning the ball off defenders. For Manchester United, Weghorst averaged .79 interceptions per 90 placing him in the 91st percentile of all strikers.
Whether or not Weghorst is in Kompany’s plans, game day at Burnley would grant Weghorst the opportunity to regain his scoring form. Burnley does have four other striker options in the squad, however, Weghorst has already played regularly in the Premier League for Burnley and Manchester United, and he offers valuable experience to a young squad.
Jacob Bruun Larsen
Joining on a season-long loan from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Larsen hopes to receive more game time in comparison to the sparse chances he received in the Bundesliga. The 24-year-old is the definition of a utility player, with the ability to play anywhere across the attacking line, whether centrally or on either wing.
In the Bundesliga, Larsen has experience with BVB Dortmund and TSG Hoffenheim, making him a very experienced player at only the age of 24. Plagued by a groin injury, Larsen has been rather inconsistent in recent years. However, glimpses of the player he used to shine through every once in a while. Kompany hopes to get the best out of the Dane, and if he is able to stay fit I can see Larsen being an important sub or fringe starting player. This move is exactly what his career needs to get back to his previous form.
What to Expect?
This has been an extremely successful transfer window for Burnley, with the help of the new signings the squad looks to achieve a mid-table finish lead by Vincent Kompany who has instilled a winning mentality at the club. While staying up is obviously the main goal, Kompany will be pushing his squad to challenge themselves.
If Burnley make any further signings it will be with the goal of bolstering their midfield, whether this is achieved through permanent deals or on loan. A perfect fit into the midfield would be Arsenal’s Albert Sambi Lokonga or VfL Wolfsburg’s Aster Vranckx. Both are young talents looking for increased gametime at high-level competition. Either of the deals would allow more squad depth which is crucial for the grueling premier league season while still allowing the players to improve.
By: Jackson Maynard / @JacksonMaynar17
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Rich Linley – CameraSport