Burnley move was a "win-win situation" for Borussia Monchengladbach defender Jordan Beyer — who prepared for life in the Championship by facing Bayern Munich stars Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry
Jordan Beyer's summer move to Burnley was a "win-win situation" for the Borussia Monchengladbach defender.
The Germany Under 21 international believes that everything fell into place for him when the opportunity to come to England came about.
The centre back, 22, was keen to see the world, take himself out of his comfort zone and work alongside Vincent Kompany, who he considers one of the best in the business.
The Clarets chief, who reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup with Belgium, was a four-time Premier League and EFL Cup winner with Manchester City and lifted the FA Cup twice, on his way to be inducted into the PL Hall of Fame.
"I want to stay with Vincent Kompany and work on becoming a better defender," he told the Burnley Express. "I want to become a better player overall.
"It's great as a young player to see the world and get out of your comfort zone at home. Settling into a new place helps self-development and I'm getting used to everything in a new country. It's a win-win situation for me.
"It [working with Kompany] was a huge reason for me to come over, in my mind he was one of the best centre backs to ever play in the Premier League and to learn from him as a young player is so important. I think we can improve with him and the staff a lot."
Beyer made his Bundesliga debut for his parent club more than four years ago in a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen at Westfalenstadion.
He has made just 24 more league starts, including a 2-1 triumph over champions Bayern Munich last season, when going up against the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry at the Allianz Arena in January.
Beyer, who also spent a brief spell on loan in Germany's second tier with Hamburg during the 2019/20 campaign, said: "I had a few tough seasons behind me because I didn't play that much so just getting to go out on the pitch and enjoying what I love the most in life is so relieving for me.
"I'm so grateful just to be allowed to stand out on the field with my team-mates for such a great club. With the football we're playing, for me, I have a big smile on my face and I'm just happy. I'm just trying to give my best every time I play. It's just great at the moment."
The Kempen-born centre-half, one of the final pieces of the puzzle for Kompany, is thoroughly enjoying the challenge of the Championship, which the Clarets topped heading into the extended international break.
Ahead of his temporary switch to Turf Moor, Beyer had a conversation with compatriot and former Swansea City loanee, Hannes Wolf, to get a flavour of the division.
And it has lived up to expectations: "I really enjoy playing here. A mate of mine at Borussia Monchengladbach, Hannes Wolf, played for Swansea City last season so when I knew that I was coming to Burnley I was able to talk with him about it.
"He said that it was way more physical with more long balls, often it's five at the back, and he was right. It is way more physical and it's a different style of game, in Germany it's a bit more tactical by playing small passes, but the way we want to play at Burnley is the way that's normal in Germany.
"It was a shock, it was something I had to get used to, but I'm really enjoying it. It's a great league, a great competition, and I think every game is hard. You never know who's going to win and you see that in the table, it's so close together. I hope we keep on doing well in it."
With a three-point advantage over Sheffield United, and just games against QPR (a) and Middlesbrough (h) standing in their way, the league leaders may well be top at Christmas.
But those fixtures will only take the current table-toppers to the halfway point of term and Burnley's number 36, who kept a clean sheet in the East Lancashire derby demolition of Blackburn Rovers earlier in the month, knows that there is still plenty of work to be done.
Asked if an instant return to the top flight is a realistic ambition for the club, he said: "I'm not a fan of saying what my aim is. You obviously want to achieve the best thing possible, which would be promotion, but I don't want to say that is our goal. I think our goal is to develop ourselves and the rest will follow.
"If we stick to our habits, and keep improving our game, giving 100% every time, I think we're in a good way. We're first at the moment, but it's still early in the season, so it can change so quickly. We'll give our best to stay at the top and enjoy the moment."
Despite mass changes in the summer — with 16 new recruits replenishing the 13 squad members who had departed — the transition has been quite seamless.
Burnley have lost twice in 21 league games, they're the highest scorers (40) in the second tier, and they own one of the meanest defences and they're 10 points clear of seventh.
It is still early days, but Beyer is excited by the potential within the group. "We got 16 new players, many young ones as well, so it was a new beginning I think," he said.
"There were many players who had to form a new squad together and I think we've done really well. There are so many talented players; Taylor [Harwood-Bellis], Nathan [Tella], Ian [Maatsen], I could go on and on.
"I think that combination with the others who have played in the Premier League over the years like Charlie [Taylor], Jay [Rodriguez], Ashley [Barnes], the mixture is really good this year.
"There's just so much talent in this group and I think all of them — whether it's here or somewhere else — will make their way. They're not just great footballers, they also have great personalities, they're great lads to be around. It's really enjoyable."