Burnley striker Chris Wood has called on the club to address the contracts of players who are in the final 12 months of their current deals and prevent a repeat of the multitude of departures at the end of last month.
Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Lennon, Joe Hart and Adam Legzdins all left Turf Moor on 30 June after their contracts expired without new deals being agreed, a situation that the New Zealand international is keen to avoid again next summer.
As per Lancashire Live, Wood remarked: “The squad’s done extremely well. We’ve had a lot of injuries in the last few weeks, losing players on contract negotiations – which isn’t great – but we have a good core group here.
“We need to keep every single player here hopefully, and tie down the boys that are running low on their deals because they are vital. They are irreplaceable.”
Not counting youth players such as Jimmy Dunne and Mace Goodridge, Sean Dyche has 20 senior players in his first team squad at Burnley – 12 of whom are on contracts which, at this moment, are due to expire next summer. [via TransferMarkt]
Among those whose current Turf Moor deals end in June 2021 are first team regulars such as captain Ben Mee, 11-goal Jay Rodriguez and joint-leading assists provider Ashley Westwood, as well as Phil Bardsley and Jack Cork.
Of the eight players who are contracted to Burnley beyond this time next year, two of those (Ben Gibson and Bailey Peacock-Farrell) have not featured at all for the Clarets this season in any competition.
Wood is quite right to urge Burnley’s powerbrokers to be proactive in securing the long-term futures of key players at the club, particularly after the abrupt departures of the likes of Hendrick and Lennon left Dyche with a threadbare squad that was already creaking due to numerous injuries.
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The Clarets still have adequate time to ensure that the likes of Mee, Westwood and Rodriguez are not left as free agents next summer, although the recent spate of expired contracts – which led Dyche to publicly call out the club’s board – should prompt the Turf Moor hierarchy to act in good time rather than running the risk of letting crucial first team players walk away without recouping a transfer fee.
Burnley fans, are you worried that key players at the club could let their contracts run down like some did this summer? Have your say by commenting below!
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