SEAN Dyche has revealed he tried to sign James Tarkowski for just £300,000 in his early days as Burnley boss, but lost out on the centre half to Brentford because the Clarets couldn’t afford the deal.

In the end Dyche paid 10 times that figure to finally land his man in the January 2016 transfer window, but he is more than repaying that sum now after a string of impressive Premier League performances.

The deal that Burnley were unable to fund for then Oldham defender Tarkowski, and the 25-year-old’s development at Turf Moor since he made the move to East Lancashire, highlight both how far the Clarets have come and the player’s development.

“It’s different levels of development. When we got him he’d played quite a bit of first team football, he’d been in a young team at Oldham,” the Clarets chief said.

“We monitored him. I wanted to sign him when I first got here, we couldn’t afford it, it was £300,000 and he went to Brentford.

“But I kept my eye on him because I liked him. I thought he had more. We had to pay 10 times the money for him when we got him but we kept developing him.”

Tarkowski has had to wait for his first-team chance at Burnley, feeding off cup starts and appearances off the bench until his chance came this term following Michael Keane’s £30million move to Everton.

Dyche insists the defender was also developing behind the scenes, and he highlights Nick Pope’s form since coming into the team and Charlie Taylor’s development out of the spotlight as examples of that work.

“He had to sit and wait and work behind Ben (Mee) and Keano but he kept working, that’s the key thing,” Dyche said of Tarkowski.

“Charlie Taylor is the next one. Nobody has really seen him yet but he’s progressing. Nick Pope working beyond Robbo and Tom Heaton last season and progressing. It’s a really appropriate way of a culture within a club.”

Of Pope, Dyche added: “He did very well (on Saturday). He’s a developing ‘keeper.

“We brought him out of Charlton and we felt there was a keeper that could keep going forward and learning and progressing.

“It’s tremendous credit to the players. They’re a great advert for that, people who are not always playing but are working hard, that’s magnificent for us as a staff to work with a group who are like that all the time.”