Key Burnley midfielder Ashley Westwood signs new contract

Key Clarets midfielder Ashley Westwood has signed a new three-year contract.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 1:49 pm
Updated Friday, 25th September 2020, 1:52 pm
Ashley Westwood

The 30-year-old, who captained the side in their opening Premier League game at Leicester City on Sunday, was in the last year of his deal, but the former Crewe and Aston Villa man has agreed to extend his stay.

The club’s Player of the Year in 2018/19, Westwood has become an integral part of the side, and he said: “I’m delighted to finally get it done.

“Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been welcomed. The gaffer has been brilliant, the lads are phenomenal and the fans have taken to me, which is the main thing. It really feels like home now.

“I still feel I’ve got plenty more to give. I feel fit, touch wood I’ve been lucky with injuries, and the way we train and do things here stands me in good stead for, hopefully, a long career.”

After signing in January 2017, he had to be patient to establish himself in the side, but he is one of the first names on the team sheet now, and he believes he’s playing the best football of his career. “When I first went to Villa I was playing well and rode the wave and then had a bit of a sticky spell.

“Since coming here, the gaffer has got me playing forward a lot more and it’s showed in my assists and creating chances.

“It feels like it’s been a perfect fit for me and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

“It’s a club that is still on the up. We are a squad that pulls together and we are hopefully adding a couple to that now.

“Dale (Stephens) has come in with a lot of Premier League experience, which is what you need, and hopefully we can really maintain what we have here and really keep the club progressing forwards.”

Sean Dyche had said earlier this month that there were more new contracts to come, after tying up skipper Ben Mee and Bailey Peacock-Farrell, and he said: “We have to get bodies in we know tha, but not just through transfers, we have to get bodies fit. When we have everybody fit it looks a bit more balanced and we are not short, at the minute it looks stretched.

“But equally looking after our players here in terms of contracts tied down quickly making sure all our top players are here.

”Things like that are important, it is not just about getting players in. Obviously that is important of course. It is helpful when we are stretched and because we operate with a low squad number.

“Do we want a player or two in? Yes we still do

”But if we can get players fit that is as important as anything at the moment.

“We are trying to make sure we are on top of the contract situation, the chairman and the board know the contract situation quite obviously. They know my recommendations as well so we will wait and see what happens.

”That is an important factor, keeping our top players here and keeping our young players here who are developing because we do believe in what we do here.

“It is not just about players coming from the outside in. Of course that is something we still want to flex but we still want to keep our group together, make sure they are being looked after and that they are under contract here.”