While Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League last season didn’t necessarily come as a surprise, it ended six consecutive seasons in the top flight for the Clarets.
Not only are Burnley now preparing for life in the Championship, but they’re doing so without the presence of the imposing Sean Dyche leading them from the touchline.
So, it’s perhaps no surprise that Burnley are as long as 14/1 to win the Championship title next season. You could also be forgiven for preferring to stake your money at an online casino, with the BC Game Bonus Code enabling you to do so while accessing some free funds.
However, there’s genuine optimism that Burnley can bounce back and return to the EPL in 2022/23. Here’s why:
Rebuilding Burnley – The Dawn of a New Era
Sean Dyche’s exit before the end of last season has precipitated a number of similarly high profile departures from the playing squad, with James Tarkowski (Everton), Ben Mee, Aaron Lennon, Dale Stephens, Erik Peters and Phil Bardsley having all been released.
England goalkeeper Nick Pope has also been signed by Newcastle for £10.35 million, while Wout Weghorst has returned to Besiktas at the end of his loan.
Despite this, incoming manager Vincent Kompany has been quick to recruit new players for the team, starting with the outstanding deep-lying forward Scott Twine from MK Dons for an undisclosed fee. Twine contributed 20 goals and 13 assists in 50 appearances in all competitions last season, while he earned a coveted spot in the League One Team of the Year.
Kompany has also recruited Belgian midfielder Samuel Bastien from Standard Liege for £720,000, while adding 22-year-old centre back Luke McNally from Oxford for a cool £1.6 million.
The Belgian also leveraged his Manchester City connections to snap up defender CJ Egan Riley and the England U21 captain Taylor Harwood-Bellis. The former was signed on a free transfer and a permanent deal, while the latter’s services have been secured on a season-long loan.
Evolution at Burnley – Why Fans Should be Optimistic
These signings suggest that Kompany is trying to create a more youthful and dynamic squad, which should come as no surprise given the Belgian’s desire to play a front-foot pressing game.
Remember, Burnley’s playing squad had the oldest average age of the Premier League last season, so reducing this is key if Kompany is to introduce more energy into his side.
As for playing style, Kompany spent much of last season adopting a familiar 4-4-2 system. This will suit Burnley’s playing squad, which boasts genuine width in the form of Dwight McNeil and can deploy the recently signed Twine as a deep lying forward to operate between the opposition’s lines.
Kompany also frequently adopts a 4-3-3, with his sides typically set up to dominate possession of the ball and try to win this back higher up the pitch. This will be a slight departure for Burnley, while it means that more new signings may be required in the coming windows.
Regardless, Burnley’s recruitment has been proactive and focused during this summer window, while the addition of Scott Twine could add some much-needed firepower for what could be an exciting season.