Who are the primary Burnley transfer targets when the Clarets return to the Premier League next season?
After returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking under the stewardship of Vincent Kompany, fans of the English top flight might well be surprised by the Burnley side they see in the coming months.
Gone are the days of Sean Dyche’s defensive, low-block 4-4-2, and instead the Clarets swept the Championship aside, piling up goals and 101 points playing an offensive, possession-heavy style that was reminiscent of Kompany’s former Manchester City side.
They’ve already been active in the market too, bringing in West Bromwich Albion captain Dara O’Shea and FC Basel striker Zeki Amdouni, as well as making loan deals for Michael Obafemi and Jordan Beyer permanent.
That early business has been followed up with a string of arrivals in the form James Trafford, Nathan Redmond, Luca Koleosho, Bruun Larsen (loan), Sander Berge, Hannes Delcroix and Aaron Ramsey in Lancashire.
But there could be more to come – here are some of the names thought to be Burnley transfer targets.
Primarily a left-back, Ian Maatsen is equally adept at playing higher up the pitch. The 21-year-old player will be getting minutes under coach Mauricio Pochettino’s rule this season, as the Argentine manager gave him a chance to shine in the match against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on the 13th of August.
However, Ian Maatsen might consider leaving the club, as he’ll surely be a bench-warmer in the 2023/24 Premier League campaign. There’s no way Ben Chilwell or Reece James will be on the bench, which means that Burnley’s interest in Maatsen might result in an irresistible offer.
However, the chance of us seeing Maatsen strutting his stuff at Turf Moor seems bleak. He spent the 2022/23 season in the Championship playing for Burnley in 29 official games but he appears determined to prove himself at Stamford Bridge.
Earlier this summer, Chelsea rejected a £15m Burnley bid for Maatsen’s services and even if the Clarets return with a great offer for his signature, Maatsen’s desire to compete with Reece James could kill any prospects of completing a deal.
West Ham have also been strongly linked with the player in recent weeks.
Albert Sambi Lokonga
When Arsenal signed Albert Sambi Lokonga in 2021 from Anderlecht, it looked like the Belgian was set to be a key part of Mikel Arteta’s midfield rebuild, but he has struggled to establish himself in the first team, making just 14 league starts across two seasons for the Gunners.
In January, Sambi Lokonga joined Crystal Palace on a half-season loan, and initially, things looked rosy – he featured in all seven of the next games, starting five, under former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira but when he was sacked and replaced with Roy Hodgson, Sambi Lokonga played just 70 more minutes of football in the remaining 11 games.
It was another bad stroke of luck for a player who has struggled since making the jump to the Premier League, but perhaps that could turn here as newly-promoted Burnley happen to be coached by the man who helped him earn that PL move whilst at Anderlecht.
Kompany has since revealed that he sees Sambi Lokonga as the “new Yaya Toure”, whilst, in response, the midfielder stated that “without him I wouldn’t have progressed so much.” A reunion could be just the spark that ignites Sambi Lokonga’s Premier League career.