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Burnley FC blog: Clarets can’t afford to get left behind again
THE calm before the storm, or at least that’s what is hoped.
Bar one in and one out at Turf Moor this summer it has remained frustratingly quiet on the transfer front.
It’s that time of year. Managers have been away, agents have been away, players have been away.
The latter a slowly being drip-fed back to Blighty. The holidays are over, now they’re ready to get a head-start on pre-season and make sure they haven’t exceeded their target weight when they report back for club duty.
Those coming to the end of their current contracts will be paid only up to June 30, and the search for a new club will step up. So, no need to panic? Right?
Normally there wouldn’t be reason to, but what gives me cause for concern is that it has an all-too familiar feel to this time last year.
When it came to landing targets the cogs were slow to turn at Turf Moor. The difference this time around is that none of the players want away – certainly not the key ones.
Jay Rodriguez wasn’t even pushing for a move but, going into the last year of his contract, a £7million offer from Southampton plus the chance to be a regular in the Premier League was too good an offer for either party to turn down.
Twelve months ago the two that were clearly desperate for a return to top flight football were granted their wish.
Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears were reunited with Owen Coyle in a £3million joint deal that took the duo to Bolton Wanderers.
But their exit two weeks before the start of the season left manager Eddie Howe embarking on a speedy search for replacements, and other reinforcements.
The season had already got underway when Danny Ings, Zavon Hines and Junior Stanislas came in. All three were a long way from home, and it may only be after a season bedding in (and in Ings’ case overcoming serious injury) that we begin to see the best of them.
Howe is hopeful of avoiding similar problems this time around.
His current crop are united and happy and, after a full campaign together – getting used to each others’ games – are full of optimism for the next campaign.
The problem is, Howe still wants to strengthen to give them a boost, and has outlined his targets from the get-go.
The only one to arrive so far is Luke O’Neill from Mansfield.
Although the Clarets fended off competition from rival Championship clubs for the right back’s signature, it’s fair to say the fans expected more for the Rodriguez money.
O’Neill is one for the future.
Howe needs resources for now.
John Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick are new to the chairmenship, but they have been on the board long enough to know that if you snooze, you lose.
Their determination to operate cautiously is to be admired. Heaven knows Rangers fans would love to trade places right now.
But that shouldn’t stop them from acting quickly. Carpe diem! Seize the day, or rather the player, because if you don’t then someone else will.
As much as there is a need to balance the books, they must also be mindful of keeping their manager happy and their squad competitive.
Next season’s going to be tough enough as it is.