Would a Joey Barton return be a good move for Burnley?
Joey Barton is definitely a player that divides opinion. He has spent most of his career detested by a good majority of fans other than those of his own club – who are often happy with his passion and all-action style of play. On his day, he can be a great player who can control a midfield. However, the positive side of Barton’s game is often overlooked by a series of flare-ups and moments of poor judgement that have left a permanent dark spot over his playing career.
When the former Manchester City man signed for Rangers it was a real statement of intent by the Glasgow club. It showed that they were back in business after signing a player that had just won promotion back to the Premier League with Burnley and would have featured regularly for Sean Dyche’s side. However, just a few short months later and Barton finds himself exiled from the Rangers squad following bans, training ground bust-ups, and breaking rules related to gambling on football matches.
The inevitable rumour mill has begun following Barton’s likely departure from Ibrox. The real question that hangs over the former England man is that, at 34, is he the best option for many clubs at the top level? There is no doubt that Barton has
There is no doubt that Barton has ability when he keeps his discipline, but many managers would be aware that a long-term deal for Barton would be a poor decision given not just his age – but also his poor disciplinary record.
Barton was definitely a favourite of Burnley manager Sean Dyche. It is likely that if he were to return to the Premier League then it would be with his old club with whom he won promotion to the top flight last season. Dyche has remained coy on the possibility of resigning Barton who was named in the PFA Championship team of the season during his single season with Burnley. The former Newcastle man was instrumental in the Lancashire club’s return to the top flight and his return could provide a boost to the current squad as they look to consolidate their status as a Premier League side.
The former Newcastle man was instrumental in the Lancashire club’s return to the top flight and his return could provide a boost to the current squad as they look to consolidate their status as a Premier League side.
When Barton arrived at Turf Moor last summer he added some much-needed experience and leadership to their midfield and had a number of high-quality performances befitting of a player of the season winner. He made all the players around him better and showed himself to be a great leader on the pitch.
However, with the additions of players such as Steven Defour and Jeff Hendrick now filling roles in the centre of the park for Burnley – it is difficult to see Barton featuring that often if he was to return to Turf Moor. What the current Rangers man could add is knowledge and experience of playing in the Premier League – he has amassed 240 Premier League appearances and could offer some very valuable insight to some of the younger members of the squad who may be taking on their first season in the top flight.
If Barton was only asked to sign on a short-term deal, he could still provide a boost to the squad by offering some competition for places and by demanding a certain standard of intensity from the rest of the team both on and off the pitch.
However, Barton’s decision to reject a new deal with Burnley in favour of heading north of the border to Ibrox may raise a few questions over a possible return – not just in terms of fans questioning his decision, but whether Barton himself feels that he can still deliver at the highest level.
The former Burnley man decided for whatever reason that the Premier League was the wrong challenge for him and headed to Rangers; this moved looks to have all but failed and with presumably not too much left in the legs – it may be costly few months away if the former Newcastle man hopes to return to the highest level.
It remains to be seen as to whether Joey Barton will be making a return to Burnley, links between him and the Clarets are highly speculative at the moment; but if he was to return it could prove to a shrewd move by Sean Dyche. It is unlikely that Barton would feature that often for the Clarets this campaign but he could offer invaluable insight for players in terms of life as a Premier League player both on and off the pitch. He is often seen as a loose cannon but in the right
He is often seen as a loose cannon, but, in the right frame of mind, he can be a great player and squad member as was demonstrated last season. Dyche and his team had formed a good and effective relationship with Joey Barton and if given the chance they may look to re-sign the unmistakeable midfielder.
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