SEAN Dyche has hailed Scott Arfield as a ‘fantastic servant’ to the Clarets as he prepares to face his former club this weekend.

The 28-year-old was a free agent when he made the move from Huddersfield to Burnley in the summer of 2013 as one of Dyche’s first permanent signings at Turf Moor.

Burnley faced competition from the likes of Southend and MK Dons to sign Arfield that summer and the midfielder has gone from strength to strength with the Clarets and is set to make his 179th appearance for the club this weekend.

Facing his old side in a Premier League clash looked unlikely when Arfield first joined Burnley, but the Canada international has played a key role in the Clarets' success since his arrival, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by his manager.

“Sometimes players who’ve been here a while get forgotten a little bit, he’s been here since my first summer, and he’s been a fantastic servant,” Dyche said of Arfield.

“To come out of Huddersfield on a free, not knowing where his journey is going to go next, coming here, with what he and the club has achieved, he’s played a big part in that and been excellent.”

Arfield has continued to find a way to force himself into the team despite the arrival of bigger names on bigger fees.

His importance to Burnley was underlined last weekend when, filling in for the injured Jeff Hendrick in an advanced midfield role, he scored his 21st goal for the Clarets in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool.

“I think he’s that steady player who takes on each challenge as it comes in a quiet, efficient manner, and he’s popped up with some big moments over the seasons, as he did last week,” Dyche said.

“He’s got a real good open-mindedness, really good in the group and how he conducts himself, and he’s a very popular member of the group.”

Arfield has started the Clarets last four league and cup outings and Dyche believes he is playing some of the best football of his career.

But with Hendrick back fit and in contention for Saturday and Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson settled out wide he could face a battle to keep his place against the club he made 119 appearances for.

“I’m enjoying his performances, he’s been knocking on the door all season, and he’s affected games, but the lines are very fine within the group,” Dyche said of midfield selection for tomorrow.