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Transfer Rater: Barnes to Chelsea


Dominance at Turf Moor the highlight of a season to remember for Burnley

Burnley survived in the Premier League for the first time in the club's history, with Sean Dyche leading the Clarets to 10 home wins at fortress Turf Moor to ensure their comfortable survival.

Rating out of 10: 8


Beating Liverpool 2-0 at Turf Moor in just the second game was a warning shot to the rest of the Premier League that Burnley, having won the Championship last season, were ready to compete.

The Clarets made a tremendous start and a pair of stunning first half goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray put them on track for one of their most memorable victories of the season.

Though Liverpool dominated the ball they were unable to break down a determined defence, which left Jurgen Klopp's side frustrated.

Low point

Burnley's performances in both cup competitions were substandard. They were beaten at Accrington Stanley in the EFL Cup in the first month of the campaign.

But worse was still to come. Having knocked out Sunderland and Bristol City in rounds three and four, respectively, the Clarets were handed what looked a straightforward FA Cup tie at home to Lincoln City.

A place in the quarterfinals of the competition appeared to be there for the taking, but Dyche's men put in their worst display of the season, losing 1-0 to Sean Raggett's scrambled late goal.

The non-league side fully deserved their victory and it was an embarrassing day for Burnley. A long cup run could have added meaning to a largely uneventful second half of the season.

Burnley defender Michael Keane
Michael Keane is about to enter the final year of his Burnley contract.

Star Man

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton claimed the club's award for his 10 clean sheets, but marginally more impressive than the captain was defensive lynchpin Michael Keane, who played every minute of the Premier League campaign before succumbing to injury in the closing weeks of the season.

The timing of Keane's mystery injury is not a surprise given he is roundly expected to be the subject of a bidding war among the country's elite clubs, having developed into one of the best defenders in England this season. Once the Clarets were safe, there was no need to risk Keane.

Keane's form was so fine that he started England's two matches in the March international break and he looks set to be a firm fixture for the Three Lions for many years to come.

The Clarets have insisted there is no financial pressure to sell Keane, but with the 24-year-old about to enter the final year of his contract the reality is he will be sold. A return to his old club Manchester United appears the most likely destination, with a fee of about £25 million suggested.


Burnley have ended the season with three of their most expensive signings on the substitutes' bench, as Dyche reverted to a safety-first approach to get his team to 40 points.

There has not been enough from Robbie Brady after his £13m January arrival got fans excited that he would add another dimension to the Clarets' attacking play, and Jeff Hendrick has arguably not done quite enough to justify his large fee, either.

A case for the biggest flop at the club this season could also be made for Steven Defour, who has barely featured since the turn of the year, but Burnley have won 10 of the 19 matches the classy Belgium international midfielder has started in all competitions.

But Patrick Bamford takes the crown after making a minimal impression during a loan spell from Chelsea in the first half of the campaign. The striker came to Turf Moor with a big reputation, but Burnley became the third Premier League club for which he failed to score.

He barely played, with Dyche appearing not to trust him, but his subsequent lack of impact at Middlesbrough after moving to the Riverside in the January transfer window showed it was Bamford who had the problem, not Dyche.

Andre Gray celebrates scoring his hat trick.
Andre Gray has been the subject of transfer speculation.

Transfer talk

A lot depends on outgoings. With Keane's departure inevitable, Defour also expected to leave and both Heaton and Andre Gray the subject of speculation, there could be a major squad rebuild.

Regardless of whether Gray stays or goes, a new striker will be needed. Ashley Barnes and Vokes are probably too similar and creativity is required to replace Defour's quality.

The biggest question facing Dyche is at the back, though, where a remarkably stable back-five unit will surely be disrupted by the loss of Keane. James Tarkowski has been patiently waiting in the wings, but with the likes of Boro's Ben Gibson and Harry Maguire of Hull City perhaps available, the Clarets could -- and perhaps should -- invest in another top defensive talent.



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