Season 2: The Squad Clear out
With Season 1 in the bag it was time to have my first proper squad clear out and to build a team that could start challenging for the top half of the table. I have to say it was a frustrating pre-season on the transfer front as we consistently got beaten to the punch on a number of players with the rest of the Premier League and even the Championship in cases more appealing than dear old Burnley.
However, we still bought in 7 new faces for the first team this season with one more player being bought with the future in mind. Annoyingly my staff signed someone for the U23's as i couldnt for the life of me find the staff responsibilities tab and stop it in time. However, i think the squad looks much better and certainly a tad younger than before too.
First out of the door was Joe Hart as he was moved on to Derby for £3.5m with the Rams taking on most of the wages as well. A big relief on the wage budget with Bailey Peacock-Farrell now officially becoming the No.2 for the season. Another poor keeper in Adam Legdzins was moved on to Scunthorpe in a deal for just a few thousand. We also released Aaron Lennon, Kevin Long and Nakhi Wells freeing up all of their wages.
It didnt stop there as Ashley Westwood was sold to Cardiff for £3.4m again freeing up wages and moving the 30 year old on the Championship which is much closer to his ability level. Robbie Brady was sold to Mexico and Monterry in particular for £10m with the main reason being he was 30, on fairly large wages and not going to be a regular. Ben Gibson followed Joe Hart to Derby in a cut price £6m deal and was by far the worst sale i did as we really should have got more money for him. The final outgoing saw Jimmy Dunne go to the USA on loan to try and get his ability up so he might just be able to compete for a place in the future.
All in all not bad and basically everyone we tried to move on did but also we boosted the coffers a bit to help us get a few new faces in. The first signing of the pre-season was the only one i did not buy myself as the backroom staff signed Tom Grivosti from Ross County on a free transfer. He is young so i will give them that but looking at him he isnt going to make the grade and the fact they only signed him on a 1 year deal says it all really. He will sit in the U23's before getting released at the end of next season.
So with that out of the way, lets get to the real business. We were in desperate need for a right back having sold Bardsley in January and with Matt Lowton in his 30's it was imperative we added someone young. So welcome Valentin Rosier who joins from Sporting Lisbon in a £8m deal. A former French U21 international i think he has the right qualities, plenty of years of potential left in him and should rival Lowton for that right back spot. Portugal was the hunting ground for my second purchase as the value for money was perfect and we added in Brazilian Carlos Vinicius from Benfica in an £8.5m deal. A tall strong powerful striker he will give us another viable option should Chris Wood get injured but also give Burnley some Brazilian magic. Annoyingly i couldn't register him for the teams tour of China (Partly a bug but also he was called into the Brazilian national team) and i have high hopes for Vinicius.
Now onto some potential bargains. Ruben Pardo joins on a Bosman having had his contract expire at Real Sociedad. I like this Spaniard and we now have a creative force in the midfield and if his pre-season is anything to go by we have someone who can be a danger from set pieces. Burnley has never had such flair and style! Adding to the style element, Gabriel Martinelli has joined on loan from Arsenal for the season with just his wages being paid by us. I am a massive fan of him in Real life and he gives us another option in the forward positions and out on the wing. No one will be able to accuse us of being one dimensional this year with the signings so far.
With the forward lines and midfield getting a boost it was time to work on the defence. With Kevin Long and Ben Gibson both being sold we needed two centre halves. So we raided Swansea for young Joe Rodon who joins in the biggest deal of the summer for us in a deal worth £15m before going to recently relegated Brighton to sign Lewis Dunk in a cut price £10m sale. Not done there we added Lazio's Riza Durmisi to provide us with another option at left back in what was a bargain £3m.
That was all of the first team buys but we had time to add in one signing for the future with Romanian Louis Munteanu joining in a £3m deal. A young striker with International experience already, i have sent him out on loan straight away but expect him to feature next season as we continue to reinvent this Burnley squad.
So who do you think was the best signing?