'There’s not many like Sam' - Wales boss Coleman hails Clarets striker

Sam Vokes celebrates his goal against Wolves before the Easter break
Sam Vokes celebrates his goal against Wolves before the Easter break

Wales coach Chris Coleman believes striker Sam Vokes can star in the Premier League should the Clarets secure promotion to the top flight.

The 26-year-old has been away on international duty with the Dragons this week, featuring for 76 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium before getting half-an-hour in the 1-0 loss to Ukraine at RSK Olimpiyskyi.

The Welshman won his 39th cap for his nation in those friendlies with a game against Sweden still to come before their Euro 2016 Group B campaign gets underway against Slovakia at Stade Matmut-Atlantique (Bordeaux) on June 11th.

“I think he’s good enough to play in the Premier League,” said Coleman.

“He’s a different type if you think of Premier League strikers, there’s not many like Sam.

“We’re not really a 4-4-2 team that gets wide and crosses. We need to cross a bit more, especially when he’s playing because he likes attacking a cross. We normally build-up play and slide passes.

“If we play to his strengths when he’s on the pitch a little bit more in the last third, when we throw the ball into the box and trust him, he’ll get on the end of a lot of crosses.

“He’s very strong, very powerful, has good timing and when he’s at his best and he’s fittest he’s a handful for any centre-back.”

Vokes, who played a key role in the promotion season of 2013/14 when sharing 47 goals with Danny Ings, missed the majority of the following campaign when suffering cruciate knee ligament damage.

But he’s been instrumental again with 14 goals to his name this term, 10 of those in his last 14 outings, and Coleman is backing the forward to break his Premier League duck on the goals front.

“For Sam, he missed that (Premier League) season with his knee injury. I think he sees it now as wanting to make up for that season,” said Coleman.

“Burnley have a great chance of being promoted and if they do I don’t see Sam being a third-or-fourth-choice striker.

“I wouldn’t for one minute tell Sean Dyche how to do his job, he’s doing a great job there. But Sam Vokes on his day can cope in the Premier League.”