This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
As Burnley embarked on their Europa League qualifying run two years ago, Sean Dyche decided that he needed some defensive reinforcements, duly turning to the Championship to make a deal which matched a club record for the Clarets.
Ben Gibson arrived at Turf Moor from Middlesbrough for a fee of £15m, equal to the record sum spent on Chris Wood the previous summer, with the defender’s performances earning him an England call-up in 2017. [via BBC]
Just two games into his Burnley career, he was shown his first red card for the club in a Europa League qualifying defeat against Olympiakos as the Clarets ultimately missed out on the group stage. The result left them with something of a hangover domestically as they were in the relegation zone at Christmas, by which stage Gibson hadn’t even made his league debut for the club, although that was mainly due to a hernia problem (as per TransferMarkt).
He marked his first league appearance for Burnley with a goal but it was not one to be enjoyed as Everton ran amok at Turf Moor in a 5-1 rout. That strike wasn’t enough to keep Gibson in the team for the following game – or for any of the Clarets’ remaining Premier League matches that season.
The 27-year-old hasn’t added to that solitary league outing for Burnley since and his only appearance for the club in the current campaign came in the harrowing Carabao Cup defeat at home to Sunderland last August. [via TransferMarkt]
Has Ben Gibson been Sean Dyche's worst signing at Burnley?
As per The Mirror, the defender grew increasingly frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities under Dyche and his relationship with some of the club’s management deteriorated, leading to him being exiled as the Turf Moor hierachy gave him permission to train with former club Middlesbrough earlier this year.
Perhaps the most damning indictment about Gibson’s Burnley future came this week when, despite Ben Mee’s injury leaving Dyche with only two available senior centre-backs, the club indicated that they would not be calling upon him even to make up the numbers for matchday squads, as per Daily Mail.
As per TransferMarkt, his market value at the time of his arrival in Lancashire was £13.5m. That has now sunk to £5.85m, a sorry reflection on how his stock has fallen drastically over the last two years.
Having cost Burnley £15m but made a paltry six appearances for the club, Gibson has effectively cost them £2.5m per game. Considering that James Tarkowski cost only £3.6m from Brentford and has made 140 appearances at Turf Moor, it’s hard not to feel that Gibson has been an expensive misfit for the Lancashire club.
Burnley fans, did you expect much more from Gibson when he was signed in 2018? Comment below with your views!
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