Deadline Day: The state of play at Burnley

At Burnley, we go into transfer deadline day with a lot of plates spinning.
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And it is all about whether Alan Pace and the club can stop those plates falling to the ground, much like the ill-fated deal for Dinamo Zagreb wideman Mislav Orsic, who, to run salt into the wound, scored the second goal in his side's victory in their top of the table clash with Rijeka on Sunday, having decided to stay with Zagreb the previous day.

One deal we are awaiting confirmation of today is that for Wolfsburg's 29-year-old Netherlands international striker Wout Weghorst, who is expected to be announced on a three and a half year contract, for £12m, plus around £1.7m should Burnley retain their Premier League status this season.

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To replace Chris Wood for, initially, around half the fee Newcastle paid to trigger his release clause, is terrific business - Weghorst is an upgrade, without doubt.

Wout WeghorstWout Weghorst
Wout Weghorst

But that leaves Burnley still in need of a couple more fresh faces, to boost their survival hopes.

The club's intention was to bring in two or three players in January, before the Wood sale, with one eye on trying to use the loan market as well.

But,up until now, that avenue has been closed, with many clubs unwilling to let players leave, as they want to keep as many players in and around their squads, at a time when teams have been depleted due to Covid, injuries and players at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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However, Premier League Covid cases fell for the fourth week running last week, while AFCON is at the semi-final stages, with only Burkina Faso Senegal, Egypt and hosts Cameroon left in the competition.

And while Juventus are prepared to allow Aaron Ramsey out on loan, the Wales midfielder has been reluctant so far to take a number of Premier League clubs - including Burnley - up on their offer.

Another issue has been Burnley's league position, which is another reason why the Weghorst transfer is such a good piece of business.

Trying to convince players to come to a club bottom of the Premier League, with one win to their name so far this season, on the back of a couple of recent financial scare stories in the National media, has been a difficult task.

Weghorst has proved it can be done, however.

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Domestic markets have become harder to plunder unless you are prepared or able to pay huge fees and wages, often for players previously untested at Premier League level.

So Burnley have spread the net further than ever, on the back of the success of Maxwel Cornet mould - looking at players from less cash-rich leagues and clubs, of a good age, good sell on value, and someone who could potentially hit the ground running, although in Weghorst's case - and that of Orsic - both are 29, and more in their prime.

There remains a desire to bring in a creative midfielder - a ball manipulator - of the type the club have desired since the middle of the last decade, while their fruitless efforts to land Henri Lansbury were in full swing.

Steven Defour filled that void for 18 months or so, when fit, while Ashley Westwood has done manfully in that area, but Burnley need someone who can dictate the pace of the game, and chip in with goals as well as assists.

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A wide player would also be ideal, and Orsic's potential signing excited the fan base, before Dinamo shut the door in Pace's face.

That Weghorst is prepared to come, and Orsic was happy to sign before the last-minute change of heart - allied with Cornet's signing, shows that players are prepared to look at Burnley, as unfashionable as they may be perceived on the continent.

And Cornet's success should be enough to show it is worth a leap of faith - just look at how much he is enjoying himself with Burnley and in the Premier League.