Why Burnley’s Premier League future could be decided in January

Burnley might have improved in recent weeks and started to pick up points, but with a squad lacking in quality to compete consistently at this level it looks as if it will only be a short stay in the Premier League for them this season. That is unless, of course, Sean Dyche decides is given some cash to spend in January to add two or three players that can help get them out of trouble.

Whilst Burnley have a determined group of players that give their all each week, the truth is the team are missing experienced Premier League players and it has shown each time they have fallen short this season.

It’s true that Burnley don’t have the financial power most teams in the Premier League possess, but promotion last season will have been extremely lucrative. They did spend money in the summer, with George Boyd costing around £3million from Hull City. He was the club’s joint record transfer, matching Stephen Fletcher’s fee from Hibernian in 2009. The fact that Burnley have only spent a maximum of £3m on one player in their history proves they have never had the financial backing.

With that being said, spending money in January will be a must to survive. It is no good coming into this league with the mentality of giving it a good go and then coming back stronger in a couple of seasons after it doesn’t work out. It is extremely difficult to get out of the Championship; relegated Premier League teams are rarely promoted at the first time of asking. It took Burnley four seasons to get back into the top flight and it could possibly take the same amount of time if they go down again. Ambition needs to be shown because the squad now is simply not good enough to stay up.

The likes of Michael Kightly, Matt Taylor and Steven Reid, who all have Premier League experience, were brought in this past summer – neither player has played much this season, albeit due to a few injury problems. But that means the majority of the squad are the same players that won promotion last season, apart from George Boyd, of course.

Fellow Championship players were added such as Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Sordell, mostly as cover for the injured Sam Vokes. These two strikers were never prolific in the Championship and haven’t scored a goal between them this season – Jutkiewicz being the more regular out of the two, yet he still hasn’t registered in 16 appearances.

Some players have looked good at this level including summer signing George Boyd and former Man City youth player Kieran Trippier. The stand out player has been Danny Ings, who has four goals in 14 Premier League outings. At just 22, he hasn’t at all looked out of his depth and is developing into an all-round striker with tremendous potential.

Apart from Ings, Burnley have struggled for goals. Only 12 goals have been scored in 17 matches and it’s the main area where Burnley need to strengthen. Sam Vokes should return from injury sooner rather than later, but he too has little experience at this level.

Currently in 18th position heading into Christmas, surely only investment on the pitch will keep Burnley in the Premier League for next season. But that’s in as much balance as their Premier League status.

 


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