Burnley look set to lose talented young defender Ali Koiki after he rejected the offer of a new contract at Turf Moor.
Football Insider reported that the 20-year-old had been offered a contract extension by the Clarets but he has instead decided to leave the club upon the expiry of his existing deal and is set to become a free agent.
According to Football Insider, the left-back was unhappy at never being given a senior debut by Sean Dyche, believing that his performances in the underage ranks had earned him a shot at the first team.
Koiki has indeed enjoyed a superb season for Burnley’s under-23 side, scoring no fewer than 10 goals despite playing as a left-back and reportedly attracting interest from clubs in the Championship and League One as well as abroad, according to Football Insider.
He was named on the bench in a couple of first team fixtures this term but did not make an appearance in either (as per TransferMarkt). Even with Dyche naming several academy prospects among the substitutes for the recent Premier League games at Manchester City and Crystal Palace and not being able to name the maximum permitted complement of nine subs, the 20-year-old was conspicuous by his absence.
Should Dyche give Burnley's academy prospects Premier League game-time?
Yes - it will stand to them
No - they're too raw
With four players leaving the club this week upon expiry of their contracts, Burnley’s senior squad is now down to just 20, seven of whom are either injured or completely out of favour. Somewhat unluckily for Koiki, both of the Clarets’ senior left-backs Charlie Taylor and Erik Pieters are among the precious few players still at the club and available for selection.
While Koiki’s frustration at not getting a chance at first team level is understandable and he feels that a move away is what’s best for his career, it seems a shame that he is set to walk out on Burnley given their depleted numbers at the minute.
Dyche has already had his squad heavily curtailed without letting young talents leave and, in the case of the 20-year-old defender, some of those appear to have plenty of promise given their performances at underage level. Koiki’s departure is one that the Clarets could come to regret.
Burnley fans, are you disappointed that Koiki is leaving or is it a case of ‘good riddance’ seeing as he turned down the club’s offer? Have your say by commenting below!
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