It’s been a summer of change at Burnley. And not just in the canoe either.
Just a week after being officially unveiled as Sean Dyche’s permanent successor, Vincent Kompany’s tenure in charge of the Clarets is set to begin with the loss of Nick Pope; One of England’s best shot-stoppers and Burnley’s most consistent performer during a torturous 2021/22 campaign.
Pope is set to join Newcastle United.
And the England international won’t be Burnley’s only high-profile departure either. The impending exits of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee deprive Kompany of a longstanding partnership with the centre-back that will go down in Turf Moor folklore.
Moreover, it is common knowledge that Maxwel Cornet has a £17m release clause in his contract. It is unlikely to remain untriggered for long. Meanwhile Wout Weghorst, a bully who only arrived from Wolfsburg in January, has little interest in playing second-tier football ahead of the Qatar World Cup.
Besiktas chairman Ahmet Nur Cebi recently confirmed that “we have shaken hands with Weghorst economically” ahead of a likely move to Turkey.
Entrances and exits in Burnley
But it’s not all bad news.
According to Lancs Live, Josh Brownhill and Charlie Taylor are set to follow in Jack Cork’s footsteps, entrusting their future to Burnley for the time being. Dwight McNeil has a lot of admirers but is not the number one target for any of them while, according to The Athletic, the Clarets are under “no pressure” to take advantage of the very promising Nathan Collins.
Moreover, Kompany’s reputation – both at home and abroad – can only help attract a fleet of new faces. Burnley are unlikely to return with a third offer for Oxford United defender Luke McNally, according to The Athletic, but Swansea City’s Joel Latibeaudiere could be an affordable alternative. Especially now, Swans boss Russell Martin has reunited with former MK Dons ace Harry Darling.
Latibeaudière, who could be the subject of a £500,000 offer at Burnley, worked with Kompany at Manchester City.
The seemingly inevitable arrival of Dan Ballard from Arsenal will reduce the need for defensive reinforcements, however. According to The Athletic, a player who shone on loan at Millwall will soon undergo a medical at Burnley.
Scott Twine in it?
Further, Burnley would have has offered £4m for Scott Twine of MK Dons. Scorer of 20 attacking midfield goals last season, the set-piece specialist would add much-needed thrust and unpredictability in central areas. Twine’s pursuit could be accelerated after another target – Jed Wallace – sealed his move to West Brom.
Blackpool’s Jordan Gabriel is another EFL prospect on Kompany’s radar. And the former Arsenal youngster isn’t the only right-back to become a target for Burnley in recent days. Michael Amir Murillo, an attack-minded £3.5million Panama international, shone under Kompany at Anderlecht last season.
Just like the tireless Republic of Ireland international Josh Cullen, a potential replacement for injured Ashley Westwood. Majeed Ashimeru, a more attacking and creative midfielder, has held talks with his former RCSA boss but hopes to stay put and play European football with Anderlecht in 2022/23.
Mandela Keita, a 20-year-old dynamo described as a ‘mix between N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba’, might be a more accessible target. Kompany is said to be confident KV Mechelen’s 6ft 4in target Makhtar Gueye can also thrive at Burnley, especially with McNeil and Taylor providing serves from all over.
A likely replacement for Weghorst, Gueye scored 13 goals last season. Burnley reportedly paid £4million.
Success in the Jupiler League
However, finding someone who can step into Pope’s shoes at the other end of the field may be the biggest test Kompany and his recruiting team face.
Then again, 35-year-old Wayne Hennessey proved there was still life in the old dog with an inspired display in Wales’ World Cup qualifying win over Ukraine recently. And, according to The Sun, Kompany could ask his former employers a favor with the Burnley boss, a big fan of Manchester City’s Aro Muric.
Muric was a disaster on loan at Nottingham Forest in 2019/20. But he’s a more mature, confident and reliable glover these days.
In other news, Leeds United forward’s target is open to £30m move to West Ham United