There are many players that come up from the Championship to the Premier League that struggle against a better class of opposition. Newcastle United’s recent promotion back to the big time, for example, will probably mean the end of the road for many established players. When Burnley were promoted from the Championship last season as champions, with 93 points, Sean Dyche knew that he needed to strengthen the team.
Burnley currently sit two places above the drop zone and are 5 points clear. Their squad is essentially British unlike many other teams in the Premier League. They are unlikely to be relegated based on the latest odds at sunbets.co.uk, which sees teams like Swansea and Hull in a far worse position. One player that has contributed greatly to Burnley being solid especially at home is Michael Keane.
Will Keane stay at Burnley?
The big question is will Burnley be able to keep Michael Keane, and if not, which clubs will come calling? Keane has been loaned out to a series of strong clubs including Leicester City, Derby County and Blackburn. Burnley was his fourth club on loan after leaving Manchester United in 2015 when his loan to Burnley became permanent.
Keane has since played twice for the national side, which has increased his stock tremendously. There is little doubt that Burnley are a selling club, and so any club that wants Keane badly enough would surely be able to prize him away. If that list included teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or any of the top six, then Burnley would struggle to keep the player.
It is doubtful whether United would take him back so soon after letting him go in 2015. Playing for Burnley to playing in the Champions League is a big step up and much bigger than playing for England. Mourinho wants experienced defenders, and while he may have speculated somewhat with Marcus Rashford, he doesn’t speculate with his defence, exactly the reason why United are one of the best defensive teams in the league.
Learning his trade
The good news for Burnley is that Keane is still a young lad of just 24 who is still essentially learning his trade. He has shown exceptional talent and has done well in his career so far. This could dissuade a lot of big teams from trying to sign him because he lacks big game experience and know-how at the highest level, and big clubs do tend to go for proven players.
Keane’s current value is £10m, so that figure isn’t likely to deter the big clubs or any Premier League club for that matter. However, that figure kind of tells its own story because it also represents Keane’s lack of experience and limitations. He is certainly no John Stones and his style is more combative and gritty. How much of this is down to playing for Burnley is debatable.
Big clubs are interested
Despite all this, teams like Chelsea and Liverpool have shown an interest in Keane. This means that Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp clearly feel that they can improve the central defender. The key ingredient is talent and Keane certainly has that. Top coaches can turn moderate players into good players and good players into great players. This is simply part of what makes them great coaches.
So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big club come in for Keane and we find him at another club next season. If Burnley stay in the Premier League, then he will gain another year’s experience in a powerful league. That will almost certainly be enough to tempt the top clubs. The only question remaining is, will Burnley get to keep Keane for next season or not? They will surely not be able to keep him for two seasons running.
Carl Sampson is a full time poker player, sports writer and poker coach as well as an avid sports bettor.
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