Keane speculation is par for the course - Dyche

Sean Dyche admits speculation about the future of Michael Keane is par for the course.

Thursday, 30th March 2017, 4:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:29 pm
Michael Keane

The 24-year-old collected his first two England caps last week, and the form that earned him a place in Gareth Southgate's squad hasn't gone unnoticed.

Champions Leicester City had a £15m offer turned down in the summer, and the former Manchester United youngster has been linked with a return to his old club, as well as Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton.

Responding to tongue in cheek suggestions he's got a £100m centre back on his hands now, Dyche smiled: "Well, whatever figure you wish to put on him. And then we’ve got Keano as well!

"There are so many stories about our players.

"It’s good in one sense that people think highly of your players; not just him, but a number of players.

"There’s always that challenge of all the stories and everything that goes with it.

"He’s earned the right to be considered as a fine centre-half, because he is one."

Asked whether it is an impossible job to keep him, Dyche added: "It’s just part and parcel of what it is. If a player’s playing well, people like them.

"There are only so many players around the world who fit certain slots.

"No doubt he’s one who will be looking upon with people being interested. I’m sure of that. But we’ve got a number here.

"It’s not new territory for us to have players who are getting the eye of others. It’s not new ground for us."

Dyche wasn't surprised by Keane's performances for his country, as he earned rave reviews from pundits and fans alike: "I was very pleased for him first of all, in the first game, because I think that’s a big ask – going away for your international debut in Germany and playing in a back three, which he has played in before, but it’s not regular for him.

"I thought he delivered a fantastic performance, when you consider all of those things.

"The second one was slightly more comfortable. I think it’s fair to say we were stronger than the opposition in general, but his part in that was still assured.

"He played very well. How he’s maturing is a good show. I said two years ago, when we were in the Premier League last time, he’s a young centre-half.

"Centre-halves and goalies always mature slightly slower. They learn about the game with more depth, I think.

"Keano’s showing that two years on. He’s a more rounded player. He’s more rounded in himself, of course, as a person off the pitch. He’s in among a group who are like that.

"There’s a good maturity to the group, and it’s gaining all the time with their knowledge of what we’re trying to achieve and what we’re doing on a weekly and daily basis. He’s in among that and it’s rubbed off on him nicely. And he’s delivering, that’s for sure."

And he believes the other centre backs at the club are delivering as well: "I think Ben (Mee) goes under the radar slightly more.

"But I think Ben’s delivered very good performances this season. '

"They’ve had to as well, because Tarky’s (James Tarkowski) been knocking on the door. He’s a very good centre-half.

"Kevin Long was injured mid-season, but I’m really pleased with work they’ve both done. There’s a good group there.

"We never get ideas above our station, but for a club like Burnley, we’ve got four really, really good centre-halves there.

"I think it’s a really competitive group. I’m pleased with all of them in different ways."