SEAN Dyche is still working on bringing in new players before the Premier League season begins, but Burnley’s internal business has been just as impressive – and important – as their recruitment drive.
There are young, hungry players who helped the club get into the position it is now, who will have been and will continue to be watched by rival clubs. But the likes of Kieran Trippier, Ben Mee, Scott Arfield and Tom Heaton have all shown their commitment to the Clarets by signing new deals.
Hopefully there is more to come on that front and Danny Ings will follow suit.
But the contract extensions already completed are pleasing for all concerned.
Arfield, for example, has come a long way in a short space of time.
I didn’t really know much about him before he came to Burnley, but he was the find of the season with the qualities and goals that he adds, and he is a real team player.
Heaton’s is another incredible story. Twelve months after suffering relegation to League One with Bristol City, he was celebrating a place in the top flight with Burnley.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper has impeccable pedigree, coming through the system at Manchester United, and he was different class last season.
He has gone the hard route back to the top flight, but it is often the most rewarding, as Trippier and Mee are also discovering.
Knowing first team opportunities at Manchester City would be limited at best, they made the step down to the Championship in order to play regularly with Burnley.
For me, Tripps has been the most consistent player for the Clarets over the last three seasons.
Going into the Premier League he knows he is going to have to step up a level and I’m looking forward to seeing how his game develops and improves.
He has always been a talented lad. I could see at 15/16, when I was watching him progress through City’s rank, that he had ability. But they had the finance to go out and spend on someone tried and tested instead of blooding a younger player.
But quality will always shine through, and Kieran’s has.
He went to Barnsley on loan and did really well with them, and then the opportunity to join Burnley came up and he has just gone from strength to strength, doing the right things on and off the pitch, and got the rewards of working hard. That’s something that young players have to do and his attitude is something to aspire to.
Mee is similar, proving he has got the ability, topped with desire and application – in training and games.
And I think those attributes combined will stand Burnley in good stead next season.