Summer signing Nathan Collins looking the part for Burnley
Clarets boss Sean Dyche admits he has been “really impressed” with the way summer signing Nathan Collins had adapted to life in the Premier League.
And he could have a healthy selection dilemma to make at Southampton on Saturday, if captain Ben Mee is available, after missing the last two games with an ankle problem, before a positive COVID-19 test.
Collins, 20, came in for Mee to make his Premier League debut against Norwich City, as Burnley recorded their only clean sheet of the season so far, and he also caught the eye with a composed display in the 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday.
In between times, the former Stoke City man also earned his first senior Republic of Ireland cap as a substitute for former Clarets loan man Shane Duffy in a 4-0 win over World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Collins joined Burnley in the close season in a deal which could top the £15m record outlay, having only made 47 appearances for Stoke.
But while he has potential and was eararked as a player for the future, he is also showing he is very capable of being ready for the now.
Dyche said: “I think it’s a learning curve, he’s still learning.
“I said before the game (at Manchester City), he’s got a really good attitude towards it, the way he goes about his business every day, the way he’s just learning from the group and adapting to the experience, really impressed with that.
“I did mention as well, I thought Tarky (James Tarkowski) was outstanding again, I said you’d walk out onto a pitch next to him with confidence for a reason, but it’s good signs for Nathan.
“He’s learning, and learning well at the moment.
“The manner of it...it’s not easy coming to these parts, the way he’s been nice and calm and got on with it, just learning to do the basics, sometimes overplaying when he could be just more clinical in his defending, but a lot of good signs early on in his Burnley career without doubt.”
And it says it all that a number of supporters feel he deserves to keep his shirt at St Mary’s, even if Mee is back in contention.