Arfield still valued at Turf Moor

Sean Dyche insists Scott Arfield remains a 'valued part of this squad' as he sizes up a replacement for the injured Robbie Brady.
Scott Arfield puts the ball in the Blackburn netScott Arfield puts the ball in the Blackburn net
Scott Arfield puts the ball in the Blackburn net

Brady is likely to be out for the rest of the season with a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee.

And, after George Boyd left at the end of his contract in the summer, and the failure to bring another wide player in over the transfer window, Dyche is expected to look to bolster that area in January.

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He has Arfield, in his fifth season with the club, who can fill that position on the left of midfield, while forward Jon Walters, who can also play wide, is close to returning to fitness after a knee injury.

Left back Charlie Taylor has also played there for Leeds.

Arfield is in the box seat for now, however, despite coming in for some criticism from a section of the support on social media.

Dyche has no doubts of his quality: “Didn’t he put the ball in a certain net? I’ve heard them sing that a lot.

“You’ve got to be realistic, if there’s 20,000 people in a stadium, then however many are giving those views, it’s not going to be all 20,000.

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“The club does want to move forward but that doesn’t mean a player can’t move forward with it. Ben Mee, he was here before I was, as was Vokesy, Tom Heaton was here because I brought him here. Deano, Kevin Long, they’ve all been progressing.

“Where players are from when I get here is much higher than they were. People’s opinions change, but if you look at the progress he’s moved on.

“That’s my measure, where were they when I got here and where are they now?

“I don’t do perception, I just do the facts, the facts are these players are all up here now compared to where they were.

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“I was that fella, I was the one they wanted out, but it’s fair to say the majority don’t want me out now. That’s football.

“I would say that Scott Arfield, amongst many others, is a valued part of this squad.”

Asked whether Taylor could fill that role, he added: “I’m open minded with all our players, he’s certainly not fixed in a box, he’s young enough to be open-minded.

“We’ll see.”

A winger was required before Brady’s setback, but will the knowledge of his injury and Burnley’s need bump prices up? “The market’s hard, no matter who you go in for when you’re in the Premier League, the ante goes up financially.

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“You get the odd deal that makes sense for both clubs and it’s a lot easier and more simplistic. A lot of deals are very difficult, it’s irrelevant whether you need that player because the market is very difficult.

“To get the actual deal physically done is very different, January it’s probably more difficult because the timescales are squeezed. Clubs will try and get bidders in, it’s very difficult so it’s irrelevant what position you need