“He’s had a strong season” - Burnley boss Sean Dyche on former Sheffield United man Matt Lowton
Matt Lowton returns to the club where he started his career, with praise from boss Sean Dyche ringing in his ears after an impressive campaign.
The Clarets round off the campaign at relegated Sheffield United where Chesterfield-born Lowton made 89 appearances, before a £3m move to Aston Villa in 2012.
The 31-year-old actually scored his first senior goal in a 3-3 draw with Burnley at Bramall Lane in the Championship in 2010.
Lowton had big shoes to fill in 2015 when he joined Burnley for £1m, replacing Spurs-bound Kieran Trippier, but after injury ruled him out of the start of the season, he finally displaced Tendayi Darikwa from the side to play in the final 24 games of that season, as the Clarets won the Championship title.
He made 36 appearances the following season, as Burnley retained their Premier League status, but he has been in something of a battle for the right back slot since, with Phil Bardsley.
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He made 27 appearances to Bardsley’s 15 as Burnley finished seventh to qualify for the Europa League, with the split in the next two seasons 24-23 in Lowton’s favour, and 22-20 last season to Bardsley.
However, this season he has been the regular pick, with 39 appearances to Bardsley’s eight, and his performances have been of such a standard, he has emerged as the third most accurate crosser of a ball in the Premier League, with a success rate of 42%, only bettered by teammate Ashley Westwood (43%) and Everton’s Seamus Coleman (44%).
Lowton also scored one of Burnley’s goals of the season at Crystal Palace in February, intercepting a ball forward before racing past three home players, swapping passes with Jay Rodriguez, and volleying into the far corner.
Dyche has been delighted with the performances of a player who is something of an unsung hero: “He and Bardo have been flipping the shirt back and forth at varying times, but he’s had a strong season.
“He’s a very good footballer, in my opinion.
“He’s beginning to find his way round the Premier League with a bit more aplomb, a bit more of that inner belief, but he’s technically, arguably, on any given day, as good as we’ve got here.
“He really can deliver, he can pass the ball, he can strike it with both feet - he is a very good footballer, and he’s shown that numerous times this season, never more so than with his goal at Palace, which showed true quality.“