BEN Mee might be flying under the radar in Burnley’s back four, but Sean Dyche believes his captain will return to Manchester City today a more mature player.

Mee was excellent for Burnley last season but played second fiddle in terms of plaudits to Michael Keane, who eventually moved to Everton for £30million.

This season James Tarkowski has replaced Keane in the Burnley backline and has attracted plenty of praise, with Mee’s steady style tending to see the attention fall elsewhere in the Clarets’ defence.

But Dyche is delighted with the displays of his stand-in skipper and said his development had accelerated since he moved into the middle of defence during the 2015-16 Championship-winning season.

“He has matured, year on year,” Dyche said of Mee. “A big moment was to move him from left back to centre-half. I always thought he would end up as a centre-half but at the time he was doing such a good job at left back and Duffo (Michael Duff) was still doing a really good job at centre-half.

“I knew eventually he was going to move there it was just a case of how long and then you have to get a left back in.”

Since his positional switch Mee has started 65 of 69 league games for the Clarets. He has become a key figure in the heart of defence for Dyche, as well as vice-captain, and after a couple of games with the armband last season he is now enjoying a prolonged spell as skipper as goalkeeper Tom Heaton recovers from a dislocated shoulder.

Mee will return to the club where his career began today in what will be his 225th appearance for Burnley.

And while he might not receive the levels of praise bestowed on his defensive colleagues Dyche revealed Mee is respected in the dressing room.

“He’s not really looked back - he’s such a steady bloke and player who keeps edging forward,” Dyche said of the 28-year-old.

“He’s developed alongside the team. He’s continued to do that. He’s a solid character and I can assure you that he’s respected in the group. That’s the respect any footballer wants or should want, among their peers.”