The squad dilemmas facing Burnley following relegation back to the Championship

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Now the curtain has closed on the 2023/24 season, all attention now turns to plotting Burnley’s instant return to the top flight.
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Fabrizio Romano makes astonishing Vincent Kompany claim linking Burnley boss wit...

Plans will inevitably already be in place, but there’s also plenty that remains up in the air.

It’s already been announced that club stalwarts Jack Cork and Johann Gudmundsson will move onto pastures new after bidding an emotional farewell at Turf Moor on Sunday.

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The club’s retained list, meanwhile, confirmed new deals have been offered to both Charlie Taylor and Jay Rodriguez, while one-year options have been triggered on the contracts of both Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Josh Brownhill.

The loans of both Maxime Esteve and Mike Tresor have been made permanent, while the club also confirmed interest in turning the loan moves of Lorenz Assignon and Jacob Bruun Larsen permanent.

Whether that’s a realistic proposition given Burnley’s relegation to the Championship, we’ll have to wait and see. Bruun Larsen especially appears to have plenty of admirers higher up the food chain.

It promises to be an intriguing summer for the Clarets, who have a bloated squad in need of trimming down.

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Burnley's players and staff huddle at the end of the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor in Burnley, north-west England on May 19, 2024. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)publications. /  (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)Burnley's players and staff huddle at the end of the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor in Burnley, north-west England on May 19, 2024. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)publications. /  (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Burnley's players and staff huddle at the end of the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor in Burnley, north-west England on May 19, 2024. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)publications. / (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Assuming Taylor and Rodriguez stay, which of course is not guaranteed, Burnley have 38 first-team players on their books.

Of those 38, there’s 13 players currently out on loan that will soon be heading back to Gawthorpe. Among that group are the likes of Luke McNally, Connor Roberts, Samuel Bastien, Anass Zaroury, Scott Twine, Darko Churlinov and Michael Obafemi. Oh and don’t forget Wout Weghorst is officially still a Burnley player!

And following relegation, there’s the inevitable question marks over players who will feel they deserve to remain in the Premier League. Kompany admitted as much himself last week, saying the club will struggle to keep hold of certain players that have “outgrown” the Championship.

The first name that immediately springs to mind in that regard is Sander Berge, but there’s likely to be others who attract interest.

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As made clear in the club’s recent financial accounts, there will have to be sales to make up for the loss of TV revenue.

But discussing this very point leading up to the Nottingham Forest game at the weekend, Kompany appeared fairly confident the Clarets could avoid a full-scale fire sale.

“It’s not as complicated as it was the first year,” he said.

“We have [Anass] Zaroury coming back, we’ve got [Manuel] Benson, we’ve got guys who have done really, really well for us last season in the Championship who are still all under contract, coming back and motivated.

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“Then we’ve got the additions of this year for the Premier League so the squad is actually in a really healthy place.

“The only thing that will play a part is if a player has kind of outgrown the level. I’ve been a player myself and I know how that can sometimes be a real factor.

“We had it with Dwight McNeil. Even though we needed the money at that time a bit more, we knew Dwight, while it would be great if he was with us in the Championship, it just felt like he was also ready to continue his career in the Premier League.

“We want to have a positive impact in the career of our players and not the other way around.”

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Only in recent days two of Burnley’s goalkeepers James Trafford and Arijanet Muric have been linked with other clubs – Liverpool and Newcastle United for Trafford and Celtic and Wolves for Muric. Jordan Beyer has also received enquiries for his services if reports are to be believed. The same applies for Josh Brownhill, although the one-year option on his contract has now been triggered.

Young wingers Luca Koleosho and Wilson Ododert have defied their tender years to impress in the top flight too, so they may well attract admirers.

It all points to another summer of big change, which Burnley fans are still getting accustomed to after the years of stability and minimal change under Sean Dyche.

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