The clock is ticking - Chris Boden on the state of play as we enter the final days of the transfer window

This time next week, the dust will be settling on the business done in the transfer window.

By Chris Boden
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 11:51 am
Mislav Oršić
Mislav Oršić

At Burnley, as ever, we can only judge it when the window has closed, with deals so often going right down to the wire, with the club rarely in a position to cherry pick or entice players just by throwing money at situations.

So where are we, with just over six days to go, and no one through the door as of yet?

Burnley's need is great, obviously given their league position, and having lost their main striker, after relegation rivals Newcastle United triggered Chris Wood's £25m release clause.

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But as Sean Dyche says, necessity doesn't help bring players in: "Words mean nothing, it is contracts and money – that is the truth of it.

"We are always looking for quality but it costs a lot money.

"If we have a lot of money, then we will buy quality.

"If we haven’t, we will buy players we think can add to the quality in different ways."

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 that avenue has been closed off up to now, with many clubs unwilling to let certain players out as they want to keep as many players in and around their squads in the midst of games being postponed due to Covid, injuries and players at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Hopefully that will ease, with Premier League Covid cases falling for the fourth week running, while AFCON is reaching the final stages of the tournament.

One issue is obviously Burnley's league position. Trying to convince players to come to a club 20th in the Premier League, with one win to their name so far this season, on the back of a couple of financial scare stories in the National media last week.

Domestic markets are harder to plunder unless you are prepared or able to pay huge fees and wages, and while there are players available and those that clubs are willing to allow to leave, they are often at the veteran stage of their careers, and on good money as well.

The likes of Christian Benteke and Andy Carroll have been linked with the club - very short-term solutions.

While you can never say never, depending on how the dominoes fall, I understand both are some way down on a list of potential options.

So Burnley have spread the net far and wide, looking at the Maxwel Cornet mould - 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.

The club, and chairman Alan Pace, are working hard behind the scenes and were hopeful of landing one or two new faces this week, deals which would appease the fan base, as well as bolster the squad, if they can get those transfers done before 11-59 p.m. on Monday.

There has been some ambitious moves, with interest in RC Lens midfielder Seko Fofana - currently one of the top performing players in Ligue 1 - as well as Dinamo Zagreb's left winger Mislav Oršić, who has a hat-trick against Spurs and the winner against West Ham to him name in the Europa League over the last 12 months.

Cornet's signing, and impact, is a help in trying to convince players make the leap - someone who is loving life at Burnley and in the Premier League, playing with a smile on his face.

Burnley are not naive, and know they will be a stepping stone for some players - but that has been the case for some time, looking at how mutually beneficial the club and the likes of Kieran Trippier, Danny Ings and Michael Keane have been for each other.

No doubt Cornet will move on to a big club in time, but he took a chance on Burnley, and you have to hope others will, and be the difference between Burnley starting next season in the Premier League or the Championship.

The display at Arsenal showed that they are not far away, but also how big a difference a couple of quality signings could make.

The coming days could be as important as any in the remainder of the season, as regards Burnley's survival hopes.