Burnley's summer signing Matej Vydra could feature at Craven Cottage
Burnley boss Sean Dyche has described summer signing Matej Vydra as a "different kind of player" who enhances the squad's tactical flexibility.
The Czech Republic international has been getting himself up to speed since making his move from Derby County earlier this month but the forward could play some part at Craven Cottage this weekend.
The 26-year-old, last season's Golden Boot winner in the Championship with 21 goals, is pushing to make his senior debut after being included in the matchday squad for the first time in Greece.
Vydra, who provides the Clarets with another option in that number 10 role, was an unused substitute in the 3-1 defeat against Olympiakos in the Europa League play-off in Athens.
“It depends how he fits into the group and understands it," said Dyche, ahead of Sunday's Premier League game against Fulham. "We wanted to operate as we did last season, having a bit more flexibility tactically.
"Vyds is someone who can create and score from that position. That’s a different kind of player, but then he’s got to understand the work side of the Premier League and our group.”
In the meantime, forward Jonathan Walters could be heading out of the club on loan should a suitable move become available before the window closes next week.
Dyche confirmed that he wouldn't stand in his way as the 34-year-old searches for first team football.
The Republic of Ireland international, who has made just six appearances for the Clarets since arriving from Stoke City last summer, including two starts, didn’t travel to the Karaiskakis Stadium with Burnley this week, despite being part of the registered Europa League squad.
“He’s fit and well and he knows that if anything comes available that suits him, that will be the key thing," said Dyche. "But he’s a well-respected senior professional, so we make sure we respect him and we do.”
Meanwhile, Dyche doesn't believe his players will need picking up after the injustice suffered in their Europa League tie in Athens midweek.
The visitors were downed by a number of dubious decisions from Slovenian official Slavko Vinčić, with the worst of those arriving on the hour when Ben Gibson was given his marching orders for a highly contentious handball that led to a penalty.
Ahead of the game against the cottagers, the Clarets chief said: "I don’t think the lads need picking up. We made a number of changes . The physicality was good, so we know it’s a fit group.
“The one good thing about this going on into the season is we have got a lot of fit players now, competitively-fit players because we have mixed it up and changed it.
“So we have had a tough initial stage, lots of games and travelling, but we have got a fit group. We still need the bodies back from injury, but the ones who have been playing in the Premier League and Europa League, their fitness is good.”
The Cottagers spent handsomely in the summer, splashing almost £100m on the likes of Jean Michael Seri, André Zambo Anguissa, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Alfie Mawson, who was a target for the Clarets, Joe Bryan, Fabri, Maxime Le Marchand and a loan fee for Andre Schurrle.
Dyche said: "We mentioned the other week about how the financial model of football has gone. Most owners don’t care about that.
"They just run their club in a manner those choose to do. That’s fine and there’s no angle to that. If you are a very rich person and want to run your club your way, that’s up to you.
“This club doesn’t. They want to make sure not just the next month, but the next year, two, three years are looked after.
"The challenge then is to still be competitive after that. To get a team to develop and win and keep rolling that system out every year.
“It does get harder because the numbers keep going up and up. I said a few weeks back we’ve got to chase the numbers, not be in front of them.
"Look at what Brighton and Huddersfield are spending. If they are running away with the numbers, we’ve got to chase that but not be in front.
“If the gap gets too big, then it becomes really, really difficult.”