FORMER Burnley midfielder Paul Weller has described Scott Arfield as Burnley’s unsung hero in their promotion season, and has urged the club to reward him with a new deal.
The Scot was snapped up by Clarets boss Sean Dyche in the summer after being allowed to leave on a free transfer from Huddersfield Town.
Arfield faced an uncertain future before Burnley’s intervention in pre-season. Twelve months on he is preparing for life in the Premier League.
Weller believes the 25-year-old had a big say in the Clarets getting there through his right wing work with Kieran Trippier.
And after the right back signed a new three-year deal, Weller feels it would be fitting if Arfield was also offered new terms.
“He’s a very valuable player,” said the ex-Claret, who made more than 250 appearances for Burnley.
“He isn’t a traditional winger but that works well for Burnley because playing him there gives Trippier licence to go around him.
“They work as a great pair. Scott tucks in and gets into some great spaces behind the front two, and it’s good that he does that because that enables Trippier to bomb on and it’s a combination that’s got great balance to it.
“He seems to be happy in his role and the two central midfielders enjoy having him there as well because it gives it a solid look away from home.
“He’s been an unsung hero of the team.”
But Weller feels Arfield’s role will take on even greater importance next season.
“You need people like him in the Premier League because you can’t go gung-ho,” he said.
“Burnley were 4-4-2 all last season but we don’t know if they will do that again because you’re asking for trouble if you do that all the time.
“If you went to the Etihad and played 4-4-2 you’re probably going to get picked off.
“But Arfield gives you the option of playing 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.”
And it is his form and flexibility which Weller says should encourage Burnley to sign him on a longer term contract.
“I think it’s something he probably deserves,” he said.
“What he has done, from this time last year, is amazing.
“If you leave a club that doesn’t mean it’s the end of your career, especially when you’ve got Sean Dyche in your corner.”
Arfield played 49 times for Burnley in all competitions last season.
The Scot scored nine goals, including a crucial equaliser at Watford as the Clarets secured promotion.