Clarets boss Sean Dyche feels he has landed a “leader” after making Ben Gibson his first summer signing.
Gibson has agreed a four-year deal after Middlesbrough accepted a club record-equalling £15m offer from Burnley.
The 25-year-old adds real depth to a centre back pool which ran at three senior players last season, in Ben Mee, James Tarkowski and Kevin Long.
And Dyche was delighted to get his man after a frustrating summer to date.
Speaking after the 2-0 friendly defeat against Espanyol at Turf Moor, said: “It’s a deal we’ve been working on, refreshingly with a club who were very good to deal with, I spoke to Tony and it was all straight-forward.
“Once the numbers were agreed, it was a pretty simple deal, which is hard to come by now in this current market.
“So that was pleasing.
“And he’s a good player, someone we’ve liked for a while, the timing of when you have a chance to get these players, the demands of what’s coming for us...a player who, I think, wants that next challenge, of being in the Premier League currently.
“I’m sure the club he’s come from want to challenge to get in there, but we are currently there, and it’s a new start for him, someone who’s been at the club for a while.
“We think he’ll certainly add to the demand of the group, without a shadow of doubt, because he’s a leader type, someone who wants to take on a challenge, he looks ever so fit and ready to go.”
Gibson was named in the England squad towards the end of the 2016/17 season, without earning his first senior cap, and Dyche added: “There were noises about him getting on the back of England call ups and things like that, and I think he’s got a good demand on himself, let alone what’s around him.
“I think he’s a very demanding professional player, and we want to add to the demand we’ve got here, internally we have a demand, but it always freshens things up when new faces come in and everyone gets on their toes.”
Burnley are expected to confirm Joe Hart’s arrival on Monday in a £4m deal, although Sam Clucas’ £8m switch from Swansea has broken down.
Dyche feels the squad is looking stronger all of a sudden: “We’re working on more, and when we get the players fit that we want to, who’ve been injured, all of a sudden, a depleted squad looks full again.
“If you imagine that side out there with him (Gibson), Defour, Brady, there’s three straight away, and it looks different immediately.
“We’ve had to be careful today with the extra time on Thursday, the physical demands, and I did say the other night, it’s a shame these two games have been good for the young players, but not so good in the fact we were hoping to put out two really strong teams, and we’ve had to dilute it down to be careful with the players.”
Dyche was reticent, as ever, to discuss his transfer business until it is signed and sealed, as he said when quizzed about Hart and Clucas: “There’s only rumours, which is your job!
“We hope so (it’s a busy few days) for the right reasons, we’re certainly looking, we’re active, and if these deals can be done quickly and straight, and everyone agrees, it’s very helpful.
“If they can’t, we have to keep plugging away and hopefully get the situations olen we want to open.
“There’s some many reports on us, kind of weirdly good, it would be worse if there were none, but there are so many.
“I show respect in these situations, it’s different talking about Ben because it’s a done deal.
“Once it’s done, I’m more than happy to share everything with you, but until they’re done, I just don’t think there’s any point