A relatively tepid transfer window for Burnley has come into life this week. Regional reports claim the club have made inquiries about Swansea duo Sam Clucas and Alfie Mawson, as Sean Dyche looks to strengthen the depth of his squad.
Clucas is a very ‘Dyche signing’. The 27-year-old is a workhorse and it was that graft which made him a fan’s favourite at Hull. He moved to Swansea for a fee of around £15-million and was deployed in a whole host of positions, such was his versatility. The Swansea faithful don’t seem to have the same love for Clucas that the Hull fans had but they shared the same respect for the tireless effort that he put in.
Parallels with Scott Arfield spring to mind. Arfield left Huddersfield Town as a central-midfielder that couldn’t make the grade but was a revelation for Dyche, who used him out wide. Arfield was never the most skilful player in the world but he had grit and determination — two huge factors to the rise of this Burnley team.
Bringing in Clucas may feel like going back to basics, but it is the basics to which this wonderful success has been built upon. Dyche wants players who have the right attitude, first and foremost, and the 27-year-old has that. This setup isn’t one for mercurial talents to flourish in; results are won based on a collective team effort in a system that is difficult to oppose. The dynamic midfielder would be a welcome part of the whole, however, Mawson would be a different prospect entirely.
The former Barnsley man has seen his stock rise meteorically, since his move to Swansea in 2016, in a not too dissimilar fashion to the stock of Harry Maguire. Maguire has had an excellent World Cup, on the back of an impressive season with Leicester City, where he demonstrated his wonderful blend of the old-fashioned defender and the modern day ball-player. He’s built like a colossus but is technically very good; one might call that the perfect centre-half blend.
Mawson’s game is very similar to that of Maguire’s. He’s a very stocky build but is also very quick and good with the ball at his feet. At present, he’s easily the best defender in the Championship. He is also better than any defender that Burnley currently own.
The Clarets seem to have stalled on their attempts to bring Craig Dawson into the club. West Brom are notorious in driving hard bargains and it seems their valuation for the defender was simply too high. It may be a blessing in disguise if this rejection pushed Burnley towards Mawson, though, the 24-year-old will be in-demand, there is no doubt about that.
A deal for Clucas would be a solid acquisition to bolster the squad depth. A deal for Mawson would be a statement of intent that just shows how far Burnley have come in such a short space of time.