Burnley have returned to the Premier League quickly with a passive transfer policy they rely on a tight knit squad to compete.
As the transfer market operates with an ever increasing level of madness Burnley remains undeterred:
“ We’ll be as competitive as we possibly can without compromising the long-term future of the business, which is the most important thing”
– David Baldwin, Chief Executive, Burnley –
This ethos was, is and continues to be the long term vision of the club regardless of the increase in television money. Burnley’s DNA has traditional values at its core which is reflected in the flexibility, resilience and togetherness of the playing squad.
The club secured the Championship title with plenty of grit and determination. Long term manager Sean Dyche sacrificed attacking style for robust invincibility as his team went on a 23 match unbeaten run to finish the season.
Dyche used only 25 players throughout the campaign citing consistency as a key factor in their success. This focus on togetherness also obviously relies on an empty treatment room. Keep on eye on Burnley’s injury list if you decide to invest in their players. Also consider the fixture congestion around Christmas if you still hold those assets as we are likely to see some limited performances.
Burnley’s style of play was counter attack focused which proved ideal for Andre Gray (6.5) who partnered with Sam Vokes (6.0) to lead the team to a divisional high 72 goals scored. It remains to be seen how effective the team can be in the Premier league though. Many FPL managers will remember Burnley’s feeble attempt for survival two seasons ago. That said the 2014/2015 team did present us with excellent FPL options at times with the current squad having a few interesting prospects as well. Read below for our ‘Projected XI’.
Tom Heaton: is entering the peak of his career. Has proven an excellent shot stopper recently called up for Euro 2016. Strongly consider him as an option at 4.5.
Matt Lowton: the right back is a capable player at this level but faces rotation risk from loan signing John Flanagan. If he nails a place down his attacking forays down the right may need to be considered. Monitor.
Michael Keane: the young centre-back took his chance to nail down a spot last season proving lethal from set pieces with 5 goals. The price premium makes him difficult to justify, you can do better for your 5.0.
Ben Mee: The left-back come centre-back was a mainstay of the defense as such is the most reliable pick in this defense. Well priced at 4.5 and one to consider in this price bracket.
Stephen Ward: became a mainstay during the unbeaten run after Mee moved to centre back. The signing of John Flanagan puts pressure on his position, a battle he very well may lose. Least secure option of this back four. Avoid.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson: The Icelandic winger signed from relegated Charlton in the summer. His a flexible hard working player who can contribute to the attack. He is idealistic suited for this team but not our initial FPL squads with better midfield options at 5.5. Monitor his impact.
Dean Marney: Only started seven matches last season the 4.5 midfield is a squad player who may need to step in after the departure of Joey Barton. Burnley are currently in the market to strengthen this position.
David Jones: is the set-piece taker for the team. He is a reliable midfielder who can be called upon at this level but his FPL impact is minimal. Ignore.
George Boyd: The wide player was a fantasy favorite a few seasons ago. His been priced accordingly at 5.5 which lowers our appetite for the player. His a hard working and flexible player who is second in line on set-pieces. Poor Price.
EDIT: With the extreme flexibility of the squad I made an oversight and didn’t include a feature on Scott Arfield thanks to Kyle who pointed this out.
Scott Arfield: One of the first names on the team sheet. Arfield played every match last season contributing eight goals and six assists to the side. He played in central-midfield last time Burnley appeared in FPL contributing only two goals and two assists. The step up from the Championship is a big one and that rise in class makes his FPL selection hard to justify at 5.5.
Andre Gray: The 24 year old was the top striker in the Championship last season with 23 goals and 8 assists. His combination of pace, precision off both feet in and outside the box as well as his share of penalties makes him extremely well suited to the 3rd striker role in our FPL squads at 6.5. Impressive.
Sam Vokes: Has unfortunately been priced appropriately (6.0) with 14 goals last season the striker found some impressive form after sitting out the previous campaign with injury. His partnership with Gray was excellent with his aerial ability a major asset to his sides style of play. Look to pick Gray instead.