Clarets window has to be considered a success - despite late disappointment

Jeff Hendrick
Jeff Hendrick

On the face of it, a transfer window that twice saw Burnley break their club record would have to be deemed a success.

Does that stand up to closer scrutiny, however?

The last time the Clarets broke their transfer record twice in the summer, Chris Vinnicombe landed from Rangers for £200,000 and Liam Robinson from Bristol City for £300,000 fresh from the win at Wembley, as Burnley returned to the second tier for the first time in 11 years.

They would break it again later in the season as Kurt Nogan signed from Brighton - who were somewhat easier to deal with then, having knocked back six bids and a transfer request from Clarets target Dale Stephens this summer.

However, Burnley's business in 1994/95 would ultimately end in them being relegated back to the old Second Division.

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The Clarets again are promoted, and looking to avoid a swift demotion, and spent £7.4m on Anderlecht's Belgium international midfielder Steven Defour, and then £10m-plus on Jeff Hendrick, Derby County's Republic of Ireland midfielder.

They have effectively replaced Joey Barton and David Jones, and, with all respect to that pair, both hugely successful at Turf Moor, they have to be considered an upgrade.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson came in from Charlton Athletic for an initial £2.5m, having tied as the top assist maker in the Championship with Alan Judge - who had been a target in January.

He essentially comes in for Matt Taylor, who showed his undoubted quality at times, but struggled to nail down a regular starting berth last season after injury.

Add loan men Jon Flanagan, an England international with experience of chasing the Premier League title, and Patrick Bamford, the Championship player of the year in 2015 - as well as promising young keeper Nick Pope, and it would appear Burnley have strengthened, despite the glut of departures on deadline day, seeing Lukas Jutkiewicz, Fredrik Ulvestad, Danny Lafferty, Tom Anderson and Ntumba Massanka leave on loan, and Cameron Dummigan - surprisingly - and Renny Smith depart on permanent deals.

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The one thing missing, is pace out wide. The club came so close to pulling off an imaginative move out of leftfield for Rennes' Poland winger Kamil Grosicki, only for the deal to break down, literally at the 11th hour.

To end the window on such disappointment was tough to take - an exciting move was tantalisingly close, and it clouded some fans' judgement.

Had Grosicki got over the line, the window would have been a huge success, over £30m spent, chairman Mike Garlick pulling out all the stops to back Sean Dyche.

As it is, the window still has to be deemed a success, and Garlick deserves credit for his work, however late in the day, as the summer-long pursuit of Hendrick was brought to a successful conclusion.

Add in the fact they turned down offers up to £15m for Michael Keane, and secured the likes of skipper Tom Heaton, now an England squad regular, on a new, long-term contract, and that represents as good as window as I can remember.

The club were narrowly relegated two years ago having struggled to make a dent in the transfer market.

Dyche's side have already shown what they are capable of since, in winning the Championship title, and arguably producing the result of the Premier League season so far, in stunning Liverpool 2-0 at Turf Moor.

These are heady days at Burnley - who could ever have dreamt, after Jack Walker's takeover at Ewood Park, that the Clarets' record signing would one day be most costly than Blackburn Rovers, without a sugar daddy at the club?

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