The Loan Ranger-Some Movement Next Week?
Eddie Howe could be about to supplement his threadbare squad with a new loan signing next week and if true it looks like that the player could be one not mentioned to date.
We had been linked with Stoke centre-back Ryan Shotton but that looks to be dead in the water at least for now. West Brom defender Craig Dawson was an alternative to Shotton but that speculation also seems to have gone all quiet. Sir Alex Ferguson put the dampeners on any possibility of bringing Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba to Burnley. There was even speculation that Owen Coyle had suggested to Brendan Flood that Robbie Blake could be available for a loan out but a third-spell for Blake at Turf Moor does not seem to be on the cards despite the hype.
Lots of other names have been mentioned but so far to date there have been no deals in the loan transfer window and Burnley's squad continues to be down to the bare bones thanks mainly to injuries. Danny Ings(knee)and Martin Paterson (thigh) continue to make progress but they will not be ready for first team action for some time. Keith Treacy is also still suffering from a hamstring injury and Michael Duff remains sidelined with a knee problem. Brian Jensen too is unavailable and is recovering from a groin problem.
Frustrated Clarets fans though might see a new loan signing soon; perhaps as early as next week and it could be a player that we have not been linked with previously in the media. Howe though as usual remains tight-lipped as far as any names are concerned.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph about a potential loan target, Howe said:
"It will probably be a new one and more of a squad improvement than an improvement to the team,
"It will be quiet over the weekend but there might be some movement next week."
Clarets fans expecting a big name or one with a proven Championship pedigree could be disappointed with Howe just as likely to scour the lower league clubs for his targets
"We have a very open mind," Howe said.
"The level of player doesn`t really make much different to us, it`s about how good they are as individuals."
From the quotes above, Howe would also appear to have changed his strategy in terms of his loan targets. The gaffer had previously indicated that he would expect any new loan signing to go straight into the first team whereas now it would appear any new signings could simply be squad cover as insurance against any futher injuries. This could simply be recognition of the fact that the team now looks more settled and has begun to get some wins under their belt. The last three league games has seen a vast improvement in our performance and we have managed to be pick up seven points out of nine with a creditable draw at home to League leaders, Southampton followed by a 5-1 tonking of Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor and then a 1-0 victory away to Millwall. We went into the International break therefore buoyed up knowing we had got our first back-to-back win since April and at long last had managed to keep a clean sheet.
All Clarets fans though have identified our areas of weakness where we could strenghten with defence in particular remaining a concern. The back-four though of late have improved significantly with Amougou and Edgar beginning to make the centre of defence pairing their own although Ben Mee may have something to say about that.
If we continue to play like we have recently then yes, new loan signings may have to take a back seat rather than go straight into the team. That situation though would point to loan signings from the lower leagues with gaffers from Premier League clubs for example more often than not expecting their players loaned out to feature and gain valuable experience playing competititively.