BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche believes Jimmy Dunne has a bright future at the club after the defender joined League One side Sunderland on loan for the rest of the season.

The Irishman spent the first half of this campaign at Scottish Premiership side Hearts before an ankle injury forced him to return to Turf Moor in November.

The 21-year-old is now fully fit and came through 90 minutes for the Clarets Under-23s on Monday prior to making the move to the Black Cats.

And Dyche said Dunne himself had an input in his next destination.

“He had done really well at Hearts and without his injury he may well have stayed there but while he was out injured a few different people came in for him,” said the Clarets chief.

“We give the players a big option now, I want players to go where they feel they best fit. We can guide and advise but inevitably you want them to feel right.

“That is way the game has changed, I only went on loan once but you were sort of directed there. I don’t do that, I say ‘these are the options and this is what is available.’ That way when they choose there is no comeback on me or the club.

Dunne featured for the Clarets in pre-season and impressed during a loan spell with Accrington Stanley at the end of last term.

But, with Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Ben Gibson and Kevin Long ahead of him in the Turf Moor pecking order, Dyche believes the youngster will relish the move to the North East.

He added: “I really like Jimmy, I like what he did with us in pre-season and knew he needed more game time after going to Hearts. It was a shame the injury just interrupted his season.

“We had great reports on him as a lad which is important here and what we like.

“It is a new challenge for him going to Sunderland but we like him and he is doing really well.”