Burnley embark on the new season back in the top-flight after a summer many people would label as ‘frustrating’. With the insane amount of cash being splashed around, mid-table teams and clubs towards the bottom are capable of giving any team a run for their money. No match comes with a guarantee and this is what sets the Premier League apart from the other leagues around the globe. Standing in such a scenario, many might argue Burnley are at present weaker than what they were in the Championship last year. They have lost Joey Barton on a free and Michael Duff has taken up a coaching role.
Steve Bruce quit Hull City over the supposed inactivity and lack of urgency showed by the officials and Sean Dyche would not be blamed for feeling a sense of resignation either. While people have already started writing Burnley off, it is worth being reminded that they finished 1st in the Championship last season. And teams don’t come first by luck there. We look at 3 players who have an extremely important role to play if Burnley have any chance of harbouring hopes of survival this season.
The Englishman joined from Brentford last year and has made a terrific impact in his first season with the Clarets. He emerged top scorer in the Championship after bagging 23 goals at Turfmoor. He took a shot every 31.3 minutes which indicates his consistency and movement and along with his goals, he assisted a further 8 strikes. Burnley will hope they have their own Jamie Vardy and will be more than happy if the 25-year old striker can mirror even half of the Leicester City man’s conquests of last season.
The former Manchester United youth player had a breakthrough season for the Clarets last campaign. He featured in 44 matches and scored 5 goals in the process.
He is a threat in the opposition box as his 34 attempts on goal show. His stats mirror those of Scott Dann who had an impressive season for Crystal Palace. The defender has attracted interest from around the Premier League but it is imperative Burnley keep him for at least one season, if they are to sustain their promotion bid.
JOHANN BERG GUDMUNDSSON
The former Charlton Athletic player is one of the two to arrive from the League One club. The former AZ Alkmaar player was a standout performer for Charlton in his two seasons at the club and finished runners-up in the Player of the Year awards in his maiden year. In his second year, he clocked the highest assists in the league but could not stop Charlton from getting relegated a further division. He will bring goals and assists as well as industry to the side and after an impressive Euros with Iceland, will look to make his mark in the Premier League.