BURNLEY could look to make Michael Keane a permanent signing in the new year, after landing the Manchester United defender on loan until January in a transfer deadline day deal.
The England Under 21 international agreed a four-month move in the nick of time to become the final piece in manager Sean Dyche’s jigsaw for the first half of the season.
Keane made his United debut two Premier League games ago from the bench in a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland, and after being with the squad on their pre-season tour of America they were keen to get more of a look at the centre half in the top flight.
But it is understood the possibility of the move becoming permanent when the transfer window re-opens cannot be ruled out.
In the meantime, Dyche believes his top 10 will make Burnley competitive in the Premier League.
The Clarets took their summer recruitment into double figures with the 11th hour addition of Keane.
The Burnley boss believes the defender will “enhance the group” – a factor which was prominent in his search for new signings in what he described as the toughest transfer window he had experienced in his fledgling managerial career.
“One of the things we wanted at the beginning of pre-season was to build a balanced squad and have demand in all areas, and we have now.
“There’s life in the group we’ve got but we want to keep moving it forward as well.
“There is a nice balance between young players and fresh faces and the more experienced players,” said Dyche, for whom Keane completed a hat-trick of deadline day signings after George Boyd, on a three-year deal from Hull City, and fellow England Under 21 Nathaniel Chalobah, on loan from Chelsea.
“People like George fit into both categories as he is young enough to still be in his prime at 28, but experienced enough to know what all the variances of football require after playing all the way through the leagues.
“Michael is a young up-and-coming player who he is a good addition to our squad.
“He has enjoyed good development through various loan spells over the past year or so and we felt that he could enhance the group.
“It was a late one because there were a few twists and turns to the situation and it took a bit of work but sometimes with the ins and outs, especially the ins at Manchester United, meant they had a lot of work to do.”
Of his first taste of a Premier League transfer window, Dyche added: “What people must understand is that it’s a tougher situation when you are small fish in a pond among plenty of bigger ones. It’s much tougher having the transfer window here than in the Championship because once it shuts there are no more loans.”
Burnley, along with the rest of the Premier League, must submit their 25-man squad by 5pm today.