Burnley winger Robbie Brady is released, after “stop-start” time at Turf Moor
Robbie Brady admits he “loved every minute” of his time at Burnley.
But the former record signing, who arrived from Norwich City for £13m in January 2017, is ready for a new challenge after an injury-hit three and a half years.
Brady made 87 appearances for the Clarets, and hit top form as Burnley climbed to seventh in the Premier League table in October 2017 - and never dropped below that position as they qualified for Europe for the first time in 51 years.
However, the Republic of Ireland international suffered a serious knee injury at Leicester City in December 2017, and would not play again until November the following year.
Burnley took the option on his contract last season for another year, but he has now been released, and Brady said: “I've really enjoyed my time here.
“I've loved every minute and I'm really going to miss the lads. They have been a massive part of my career and I've made friends who I will hold onto for a long, long time. In that respect everything has been great.
“Unfortunately, I picked up a quite significant injury when I felt like I was almost reaching the peak of my game in that season where we finished in the European spots.
“We'd had a really good spell and picked up a lot of points but then I picked up the injury and that was me for almost a year. I found it difficult with the magnitude of the injury getting back.
“It was a long road and a hard road for me, personally, but I managed to get there.”
Brady made 38 appearances over the last two seasons, but he ended this campaign out with an Achilles problem, and he added: “It's been a little bit stop start.
“I would have loved if things had gone better at times, because I always backed myself to do well and help the lads out wherever I can. It was difficult in that respect but it's been brilliant and a big learning curve for me.
“I feel in a good place physically and mentally and I'm ready for a new challenge ahead now.
“I just want to thank the lads and thank everyone for giving me this opportunity. I learned a hell of a lot over the last few years and a lot about myself.
“I also want to thank the fans for making me feel so welcome. It's such a family club and they get right behind the lads as we've seen over the last few seasons.
“It's been a phenomenal time and I'm so happy to say that I feel I have played a part in Burnley's history, which I'll always look back fondly on.
“I have had a lot of good times - and a few bad times personally - but these things happen and I wish the lads all the best.
“I'm sure they're going to kick on again like we have done over the last number of years. I'm sad to go but it's a part of my career I look back on fondly, along with the people I've met.”
It leaves Burnley looking for one, if not two, wingers this summer, after the failure to replace Aaron Lennon last year.
Boss Sean Dyche said of Brady: “Robbie has been incredibly unfortunate with injuries.
“In his strongest spell for us – when he was really flying and helped us qualify for Europe – he got a really serious injury.
“He came back from that and one or two other injuries to play his part in a strong time for the club.
“When he has played, he has been a credit to himself and a good servant to us as a club and we wish him well in the future.”