Premier League’s new lot for the 2016/17 season includes Burnley as one of the three teams. Manager Sean Dyche has been a part of the gutsy bounce back for The Clarets after just a year in the Championship since getting relegated in 2014/15. Burnley finished as runners-up with 93 points last season, they would be hoping that this time, they can stay up longer than they did last time. In order to do that, the manager needs to get some quality players in, Steven Defour is one of the names who is reportedly targeted.
Steven Defour is one of the most well-known players of the Belgian League. He was one the components of the golden generation of Standard Liege team that clinched the National league title after a long wait of 25 years in 2007/08. Defour was termed as a complete midfielder for his ability to dictate the tempo of the game along with his penetrative passing, vision and tackling.
The player showed such maturity and leadership qualities that he was handed the captain’s armband at the age of 19. The Belgian put in some brilliant displays during that time in the league winning back to back Belgian League titles and Belgian Cups and was one of the most sought-after players in world football. Manchester United tracked him and was all set to secure his signature before an unfortunate injury at the end of the season in 2009 killed his chance of moving to the Premier League. With a broken leg and a failed transfer situation the player seemed devastated but had a nice touch from then United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who famously wrote the player a letter of sympathy after his injury and wishing him a speedy recovery.
Defour took to the field after his injury layoff and left for Porto where he had an impressive first season, winning the Primeira Liga in the process. The player, however, was unable to replicate his exploits of the debut season at Porto as he continued to suffer from niggling injury problems. Joao Moutinho and later Lucho Gonzalez were preferred for the first time as Defour had to spend his time on the bench. With him not being able to get into the first team, Defour returned to his homeland and signed for Anderlecht, the rivals of Standard Liege.
After his move, he got some serious flak from the fans of his former team with some incidents recently escalating the matter to a worrying level. The situation has become so bad that Defour feels that he needs to leave as soon as possible. Making a move to the Premier League and playing for a club like Burnley can be a perfect choice would help the player feel respected and important once again as undoubtedly he will be a star at Turf Moore.
In the modern game, the position of the defensive midfielder is one of the most important, every team needs an able performer in that position as more often than not games are won and lost in midfield. The presence of a player as established as the Belgian ace would impart much-needed weight to The Clarets midfield. Southampton are also interested in the player as they have marked him as the replacement for the departed Victor Wanyama but Burnley are not willing to let the Saints have a free run on to the player and things are hotting up pretty quickly as the race to sign Defour remains wide open at the moment.