It was yet another roller coaster ride for Burnley in the recently concluded Premier League season.
After flirting with relegation during the first half of the campaign, Sean Dyche’s men made an astonishing recovery to finish in the 15th spot with 40 points.
We pick out three best performers for the Clarets this season.
It was a breakthrough campaign for Burnley’s teenage sensation Dwight McNeil. The 19-year-old burst onto the scene during the second half of the campaign, having been involved in eight goals in 21 matches.
In a season where Burnley largely had to deal with relegation dogfight, the emergence of someone like McNeil was a breath of fresh air for the club and the supporters. His trickery and pace coupled with his proficiency in set-pieces have already made him a valuable asset for the Clarets.
McNeil’s consistent performances also kept the likes of Robbie Brady and Aaron Lennon out of the starting eleven. And the young England youth international might become a vital part of the attack as Burnley look to prolong their stay in the Premier League next season.
Goalscoring often becomes a weakness for defence-oriented clubs like Burnley. But, the Clarets should be thankful for Ashley Barnes this season. The 29-year-old striker was an ever-present figure for Sean Dyche’s men this season, and ended the campaign as the club’s top scorer with 12 league goals.
Barnes’ physical and aerial prowess has allowed Dyche to utilise him a target-man, with the likes of Johann Berg Gudmundsson and McNeil whipping in crosses into the box. He has also averaged almost two shots on goal, which is quite an impressive statistic given the nature of his role at Burnley.
However, credit should also be given to Chris Wood for chipping in with ten goals. It will be interesting to see if these two can continue their scoring form next season.
Burnley’s English centre-back James Tarkowski has been one of the most important players for the club for the past couple of years now. And this season has been no exception as the 26-year-old was involved in over 3,000 minutes of Premier League action.
Although Burnley ended the season conceding a whopping 68 goals, Tarkowski and Ben Mee’s defensive combination played a key role in minimising the defensive frailties.
Tarkowski, in particular, also helped out his side on the opposite end, having scored three goals while providing one assist.
However, the centre-back’s long term future at the club hangs in the balance, with Leicester City reportedly identifying the 26-year-old as a potential replacement for Harry Maguire this summer.
Thus, it remains to be seen whether or not will Burnley be able to keep hold of their defensive star, but his potential departure will certainly create a hole in the defensive department.