Burnley have confirmed the departure of Aiden O’Neill from Turf Moor, with the midfielder returning to Australia to sign for Melbourne City.
The Clarets stated on their official website that the 22-year-old has turned down the offer of a new contract in Lancashire to return to his homeland on a three-year deal.
However, he made just five senior appearances for the Clarets, all of which came in the 2016/17 season, making his debut as a substitute in the 2-0 win over Liverpool four years ago. He played just 202 minutes for the club and started only once, in an EFL Cup tie against Accrington Stanley. [via TransferMarkt]
The Australia under-23 international had four loan spells away from Turf Moor, the latter two in his native country, but was never able to force his way into Sean Dyche‘s plans and has now decided to end his association with Burnley.
The manager’s reluctance to use O’Neill suggests that he maybe felt the midfielder wasn’t good enough for Premier League level, but with Dyche himself commenting on the lack of squad depth only this week, it begs the question as to why he let the Australian go rather than pledging to give him another chance with the Clarets.
The central midfield pairing of Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood are both in their 30s and therefore coming towards the twilight of their careers, so Burnley will need new blood in that part of the pitch in the foreseeable future.
Should Burnley have given Aiden O'Neill more of a chance?
O’Neill has obtained regular game-time during his time out on loan, including two spells in the Australian A-League, and therefore ought to have achieved what the Clarets would have wanted from loaning him out.
If injuries or suspensions mount during the coming season and Dyche is left with a sparsity of midfield options, he could look back to the decision to sell O’Neill and feel that the Australian should have been given a fairer chance at Turf Moor.
Burnley fans, do you think the club will regret selling O’Neill? Share your views in the comments section below!
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