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Sold by Everton in January, Aaron Lennon is enjoying resurgence with Burnley

The 31-year-old has quickly adjusted to life at Turf Moor.

Max Cohen

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Photo: Getty Images

In Thursday night’s tightly-fought Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea, the Clarets came within touching distance of eclipsing Arsenal in sixth position.

It has been a remarkable charge up the table for Burnley, and their stunning season is mirrored by the transfer of Aaron Lennon from Everton to Turf Moor.

The 31-year-old winger left Goodison Park in search of regular playing time, and has since slotted into a squad far more ambitious than Everton.

When Lennon was bought by the Clarets in late January, Burnley were just three points ahead of the Toffees. But after Thursday’s match against Chelsea, Burnley now sit in seventh position, a massive ten points in front of Everton.

It is clear that Lennon made the smart move in the winter when leaving struggling Everton for buoyant Burnley.

The ten-point gap between the two sides is due mainly to a superb five-match winning run engineered by Burnley. Lennon had started all five of those matches, contributing two assists along the way along with a host of bright, attacking displays.

(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Cruelly for the Merseyside club, Burnley’s scintillating spell was kickstarted by a 2-1 win over Everton, in which Lennon played all 90 minutes and earned an impressive WhoScored match rating of 7.3.

To make matters worse for Everton, Lennon’s match rating eclipsed both Theo Walcott’s and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s, both players who were preferred in front of the 31-year-old at Goodison Park.

Although Burnley’s fine spell was narrowly ended by Chelsea in a 2-1 defeat, the club still harbours an outside chance at an audacious sixth-place finish. Burnley faces three sides in the bottom half of the table in the form of Bournemouth, Brighton, and Stoke City, as well as a massive match at the Emirates to face Arsenal.

With Arsenal enduring a terrible run of form in 2018, Burnley will fancy their chances away at the Gunners, and former Everton winger Aaron Lennon will surely be at the heart of their lethal attack.

If Lennon can achieve a record-sixth placed finish with the Clarets, he will show the Everton hierarchy just how wrong they were in letting him leave in January.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Burnley

Three signings to help Burnley prepare for Europa League football

Burnley are in need of recruits following a 51-year absence from European competitions.

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Burnley
Photo: Getty Images

Burnley are set for a historic campaign in the 2018-19 season, as Sean Dyche’s side prepare to make their Europa League debut.

The Clarets excelled in the Premier League last term, finishing seventh behind English football’s big six, and tackle Abderdeen in a two-legged affair in the second qualifying round, before having to overcome two more stages if they are to qualify for the group stages.

That means Burnley have a stern task ahead of them in what could be a gruelling campaign this season and the Clarets need to secure further additions to help them prepare for Europa League football – and these three players are perfect.

Jack Grealish – Aston Villa

The 22-year-old Aston Villa ace has endured a turbulent few years despite his young age, forcing himself back into Steve Bruce’s squad after early criticisms of his behaviour and shaking a bad-boy reputation that threatened to limit his development.

Grealish is now a crucial player for defeated play-off finalists Villa, making 30 Championship appearances last season and scoring three goals, along with contributing a further six assists. In the wake of Aston Villa’s financial crisis, he could be offloaded to raise funds.

The Mirror claims Grealish’s value has been reduced down to £20 million, half Villa’s initial £40m valuation, and that is certainly an affordable price for Dyche’s side and would present the opportunity for profit in the coming years.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Josip Drmic – Borussia Monchengladbach

Capped 32 times by Switzerland and scoring ten goals, Drmic has a decent record at international level but has never quite managed to find his footing in club football, spending the past few years floating around Germany.

Bild state 25-year-old Switzerland international Josip Drmic could be allowed to leave for as little as €5 million this summer, presenting a bargain for Burnley, although Dyche may have to fend off some Premier League rivals for his services.

Entering the final year of his contract with Borussia Monchengladbach, Drmic would present a bargain for Burnley in the market and Dyche will hope he can rekindle the form that saw him net 17 goals for FC Nurnberg in the 2013/14 Bundesliga season.

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Denis Cheryshev – Villarreal

There is always at least one player who catches the eye at the World Cup, seemingly from nowhere, and one of the surprise packages in Russia has come from the host nation’s ranks in the form of winger Denis Cheryshev – who scored four goals in Russia’s run to the quarter-finals.

Remarkably, that is the same number he secured across all competitions for Villarreal last season in 31 appearances – of which only 11 came as a starter. It could mean that the Yellow Submarines are open to a sale and Cheryshev would be a bold option for Burnley.

With the offer of potential Europa League football and more regular first-team appearances, Burnley could lure the 27-year-old to England and take advantage of his rising stock following sensational World Cup displays.

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Aston Villa

Burnley should pursue Aston Villa sensation Jack Grealish

Sean Dyche has signed quality from the Championship in the past.

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Jack Grealish
Photo: Getty Images

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is one of the very best English managers currently plying their trade in the Premier League and it remains to be seen whether he will get a shot at one of the country’s biggest jobs.

Dyche has done an incredible job in establishing the Clarets as a Premier League outfit and their stunning campaign during 2017/18 saw the club rewarded with a place in the coming season’s Europa League.

The 47-year-old isn’t particularly interested in shopping for stellar recruits and with one of the top flight’s smallest budgets he has previously recruited especially well from the Championship.

Chris Wood, Jeff Hendrick, Charlie Taylor and Robbie Brady have all arrived at Turf Moor from second tier clubs in recent years and it is clear that Dyche is open to signing the league’s very best talent.

With Burnley about to embark on a European adventure the lure of joining the Lancashire-based club has now increased and Dyche might once again look towards the Championship to tempt Jack Grealish away from Aston Villa.

It seems unlikely that the 22-year-old will remain at Villa Park as the beaten Championship play-off finalists battle severe financial difficulties this summer, with several of their first-team set to be the subject of interest from elsewhere.

Grealish is one of the country’s hottest properties and although bigger clubs might be interested in acquiring his signature the chance to play regular first-team football in the Premier League, and in European competition, might act as a massive incentive for the player.

With the right manager overseeing his development Grealish could become of the of the best talents in the Premier League in future years and Dyche might be just the tonic for a player who has previously lost his way somewhat.

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Burnley

Jay Rodriguez reunion at Burnley would suit both parties

The 28-year-old is a Turf Moor academy graduate.

Josh Kerr

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Jay Rodriguez
Photo: Getty Image

According to reports from Sky SportsBurnley are interested in signing West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez – a transfer that would be of benefit both parties.

West Brom want to reduce their wage bill, and Sean Dyche’s Clarets are recruiting for their journey in Europe next season, so the deal on paper makes perfect sense.

The forward spent five-years with his hometown club, before a £6 million move to Southampton back in 2012. The 28-year-old was made available after West Brom were relegated from the Premier League earlier this month.

Rodriguez needs a fresh start after enduring one of the more troubling seasons of his career so far. Relegation was overshadowed and clouded by an allegation that he racially abused Brighton defender Gaetan Bong.

He was charged by the FA, but the allegation was not proven. Despite scoring seven times in 37 league games for the Baggies, Rodriguez will agree it’s been a season to forget, and his former club could be the team to save him.

(Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

The former Burnley striker was a fan favourite on Turf Moor before his move to Southampton six years ago, scoring 41 times in 128 appearances. He would give Dyche’s side more attacking depth which is an urgent requirement considering they have to juggle the Premier League with Europa League duties next season.

Meanwhilem Darren Moore is desperate to reshape his squad at West Brom and to do that he has to part ways with some of his more marketable players and Rodriguez fit’s into that category.

Burnley will surely be interested in the transfer considering the Englishman scored 11 goals in all competitions for a West Brom side that only managed 31 league goals in total.

The 28-year-old would also be moving closer to home, having been born in Burnley, and he remains one of the club’s most famous success stories from the academy.

The Claret’s should be bold and bring Rodriguez back to the team that discovered his talent. West Brom are desperate to offload their high earners, and the move would be perfect for all parties involved.

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