June 19, 2024

Vincent Kompany’s career as a manager in English football could not have got off to a better start and now his focus will switch to bolstering Burnley’s squad ahead of their Premier League return.

The Manchester City icon took charge of the Clarets last summer and guided them to the Championship title — racking up a whopping 101 points and scoring a division-high 87 goals in 46 matches.

With an exciting brand of football now embedded in their DNA, the next step for Kompany will be making additions to give the club the best possible chance of survival next season.

We look at the players the Belgian may target in the transfer window.

Striker

Kompany will be on the hunt for Ashley Barnes’ heir as the English forward’s current deal expires in the summer and he is unlikely to want to rely on 33-year-old Jay Rodriguez as a focal point.

Coventry ace Viktor Gyokeres is a potential solution. The Swede, who scored 21 goals in the regular Championship season to fire his side into the play-offs, has already been linked with a move to Burnley.

If the Lancashire club are after Premier League experience, RodrigoPatrick Bamford or Kelechi Iheanacho could be a port of call should Leeds or Leicester be defeated in the relegation battle.

Then of course, there is Liverpool veteran Roberto Firmino — a 55-cap international who will leave the Merseyside outfit at the end of the campaign after eight years of quality service.

Left-back

Ian Maatsen was one of Burnley’s top performers in 2022-23 and a key reason why the team conceded a Championship-low 35 goals.

But he will return to Chelsea this summer after a successful loan spell at Turf Moor, so an upgrade on Charlie Taylor is required.

There could be various Premier League options available to Kompany. Kieran Tierney has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal and Matt Targett has suffered the same fate at Newcastle.

The versatile Raphael Guerreiro of Borussia Dortmund is an exciting alternative who may fancy a change of scenery with the Portugal international’s contract expiring in the summer.

Ex-Manchester United defender Daley Blind  an equally versatile footballer — will also soon be available on a free transfer after a short stint at Bayern Munich.

Winger

Burnley want to make Nathan Tella’s move from Southampton permanent following an impressive season but Kompany will still require more firepower on the flanks to support Anass Zaroury and Manuel Benson.

Rangers flyer Ryan Kent has already been linked to the Championship winners and he would bring some top flight knowledge with 130 Scottish Premiership appearances under his belt.

Arsenal duo Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe could be deemed surplus to requirements in the transfer window, with the former yet to agree an extension on his current deal.

Another bargain is Wolves’ Adama Traore, who will be a free agent and would add blistering pace to the Clarets’ attack.

Midfield

James Ward-Prowse is Southampton's top scorer in the Premier League this season
James Ward-Prowse is Southampton’s top scorer in the Premier League this season

A potential coup for Burnley would be landing Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse to provide vital depth in the midfield department alongside Josh Cullen and Josh Brownhill.

The free-kick expert is not guaranteed to leave the Saints despite their relegation being confirmed on the weekend, but an offer from a newly promoted team with high aspirations may prove too tempting for the one-club man.

Arsenal’s Albert Sambi Lokonga could be a cheaper alternative with Premier League experience and Kompany spent two years working with his young countryman at Anderlecht.

Slightly riskier options would be injury-prone duo Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose Liverpool contracts expire in the summer.

 

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