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First One In and Luke It's O'Neill!

Luke O'Neill has completed his move from Mansfield Town to become Burnley's first summer signing after agreeing a two year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The 21-year-old right back was the subject of interest from a number of Championship clubs including Birmingham and Cardiff after helping the Stags reach the Blue Square Premier play-offs.

The Slough-born defender has been a key player this season for the Conference side helping them come closer to a return to the Football League. Sadly though the Stags were beaten in their Conference play-off semi final by York City and they now face a fifth year of non-league football.

O'Neill is a former England youth international at under 17 level and started his career with Leicester City coming through their youth academy. Loan spells at Tranmere and Kettering followed before he joined Mansfield on a free transfer in June 2011.

The right back has both height and pace. He likes to get forward by all accounts and support the attack. His set-pieces and crossing ability also pose a threat.

Eddie Howe talking about his new signing said:

'I am delighted to welcome Luke to Turf Moor. As a manager you always want players snapping at the heels of those wearing the shirts. To do that we need to build a squad,

'To be successful you need that strength in depth and Luke is a welcome addition.

'He is in the attacking mould and likes to get forward. He has a lot of assists to his name and although he prefers right-back, he can play in a variety of positions across the back.'

It is thought O'Neill will start out as understudy to last season's player of the year, Kieran Trippier. Hopefully that will be the case rather than as a contingency should Trippier sign for pastures new.

Welcome aboard Luke

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday June 15 2012

Time: 6:17PM

Your Comments

Good signing by the sound of it! If we can hold on to Trippier, that's one worry for me plugged re understudy! [Edited by turfmanphil]
turfmanphil
It would be real shame if we were to lose Trippier, he really is a talented player and surely his value would increase with age the new board must see this. On a more positive note moves for Shackell and Clayton both look promising if you are to believe the LT. Could be a great squad in the making!!
YorkshireClaret
Howe talks on official club site about how signing Luke means he has to depend less on defenders from last year's youth team now, meaning they can be loaned out to get the sort of experience Luke got at Mansfield and other places. That and Luke's versatility make me less worried in the short term about Trips going than, I confess, had been my first instinct. But any manager would be mad not to give thought to what would happen if we lost Trips, for whatever reason: sale, injury, suspension. So, for me, while this signing may not seem an immediately obvious good thing, it does show a manager thinking long term, which I like. Welcome to BFC, Luke.
Couch Potato
 

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