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Burnley would take a leap towards Premier League survival by beating Cardiff City to sign this 27-year-old seasoned campaigner – Agreed?

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Burnley should beat Cardiff City to sign Matt Phillips from West Brom

According to the Daily Mirror, Cardiff City and Burnley are set to battle it out for the signature of West Brom winger Matt Phillips in January.

The 27-year-old Scottish international has only 18 months remaining on his current contract and he has so far refused to put pen to paper on a new deal. (h/t Mirror)

Both the clubs are battling relegation in the Premier League and have set their sights on Phillips but West Brom are likely to fight tooth and nail to hold onto their star man in their bid for promotion.

Phillips has been in prime form for the Baggies this season in the Championship, accumulating 5 goals and 6 assists from 22 appearances. The 27-year-old, who has the experience of playing in the Premier League with Queens Park Rangers, Blackpool and West Brom, is a seasoned campaigner in English football who can add a lot of value to both Burnley and Cardiff City.

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Phillips is a conventional right-footed right-winger by trade but he has also been used on the left and as a right-back due to his defensive qualities. He is known for his pace, power, drive and determination and can prove to be a handful for any opposition with his direct style of play.

He might not be a technically gifted player as such but he makes up for it with his application and never-say-die attitude. A player known for his high levels of stamina and work ethics, the Scotsman plays with a positive body language and always puts in his hundred per cent on the pitch. While he is adept at making space and creating chances in the final third with his immaculate crossing, he tracks back and helps out his defenders as well.

Phillips has averaged 2.1 key passes, 1.8 dribbles and 2.4 crosses per game in the Championship this season.

To put things into perspective, Burnley can do their chances of survival a world of good if manage to have the final say in this transfer saga. A series of lacklustre performances in the first half of the season saw the Clarets sink into the relegation zone, but Sean Dyche’s men have managed to breathe life into their campaign with back-to-back victories over West Ham and Huddersfield Town in recent weeks.

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Burnley sit 16th in the standings, just above Cardiff on goal difference and two points clear of Southampton in the relegation zone. As things stand, they need some fresh faces in January to boost their chances of survival in the Premier League.

Read More:- 2.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions – Signing this balanced Championship midfielder could work wonders for Burnley

In all probability, the injury to Aaron Lennon has prompted the Clarets to pursue an interest in Matt Phillips. Burnley currently have Johann Berg Gudmundsson as the only option down the right while Dwight McNeil and Robby Brady are there to provide options down the left. Hence, someone like Phillips will not only provide cover for Gudmundsson but will also be a back-up for the likes of Matthew Lowton and Phil Bardsley at right-back.

That said, Burnley should go all out to sign him in January as he has all the experience and the quality to save the club from the jaws of relegation.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa’s defence would become one of the strongest by signing this underrated 33-year-old Premier League star

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Aston Villa Opinion: Why the Villans should make a move for Tom Heaton?

According to a report from the Sun, Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has rejected a new contract amidst interest from Aston Villa and Bournemouth.

Heaton, 33, who has just 12 months remaining on his Burnley deal, impressed after reclaiming his first-team spot last season, earning a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Nations League finals.

Sean Dyche is keen to reward Heaton with fresh terms after his impressive performances in the second half of last campaign, but both parties have been unable to come to an agreement thus far, leaving the goalkeeper’s future in doubt. Nick Pope penning a new long-term deal at Turf Moor could play a part in Heaton not agreeing on a new contract.

Aston Villa and Bournemouth are in need of a new goalkeeper, but it’s the latter that should sign Tom Heaton from Burnley.

The Villans have not wasted much time in making their presence felt in the summer transfer window. Having already signed four players, Dean Smith remains hungry for more and interest in Heaton means he isn’t confident with his goalkeeping department ahead of the Premier League season.

Orjan Nyland was Villa’s no.1 when Smith replaced Steve Bruce at Villa Park. To compete with Nyland, the Villans signed Lovre Kalinic from Belgian outfit Gent in January. However, Nyland’s injury saw Smith recall Jed Steer, who was on loan at Charlton Athletic.

Kalinic quickly replaced the injured Nyland but his time in goal was brief as he was replaced by Steer in February. Whilst the Croatian lost his place because of a concussion he suffered against West Brom, Steer starred between the sticks and played a crucial role in Villa’s promotion. Now, Steer has signed a new four-year contract with the newly-promoted club.

As far as Kalinic is concerned, his Villa career has not really got out of the starting blocks and it would perhaps be something of a relief for Dean Smith if he was able to offload the towering Croat, with French outlet 20 minutes claiming Nantes are interested in a loan swoop for the shot-stopper.

If Smith decides to part ways with Kalinic after only six months, then that would leave him with Steer and the currently injured Orland as Villa’s two senior-goalkeeping options.

That won’t be enough for a team heading into the Premier League in 2019/20 and therefore, signing Heaton would make complete sense.

To Read More Aston Villa News, Click Here:- Latest Aston Villa News

The 33-year-old is a reliable shot-stopper with plenty of Premier League experience and Villa would do well by having such an experienced goalkeeper on their books. Heaton is unlikely to cost a lot because of his contract situation and if Smith can promise him regular first-team football, signing the England international won’t be much of a problem.

Verdict

A calming influence and a leader on the pitch and off it, Heaton would be a brilliant addition for Smith’s Aston Villa.

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Burnley

Burnley would bag a massive signing for the future by taking a punt on this versatile 20-year-old available for free

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Burnley Opinion: Clarets should look at Bolton prodigy Harry Brockbank as one for the future

According to Lancashire Telegraph, Burnley have been credited with an interest in out-of-contract Bolton Wanderers youngster Harry Brockbank, with reports claiming that the Clarets are keen to take the 20-year-old emerging prospect to Turf Moor as one for the future.

A youth product of Bolton, Brockbank made a solitary appearance on his loan spell at Salford City in the National League last season before breaking into the first-team at his boyhood club.

The 20-year-old made 3 appearances for Bolton Wanderers towards the end of a troubled season in the Championship which eventually ended in relegation to League One. Lancashire Telegraph understands that the Trotters are under dire financial stress at the moment and a takeover is set to be finalised in the weeks to come.

Bolton’s new owners will be under pressure to act quickly in order to secure the future of some of the talented youngsters at the club, including the likes of Harry Brockbank and Luca Connell, with the latter also attracting interest from Burnley, Celtic and a host of other Premier League clubs. (h/t Lancashire Telegraph)

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Brockbank made his senior first-team for Bolton as a starter in a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa in the Championship back in April.

The 20-year-old showed strong signs of promise on his debut, despite Bolton crumbling to a defeat. That was enough for manager Phil Parkinson to hand the defender another start in the next game against Blackburn, which also ended in a 2-0 defeat for the Trotters.

The homegrown prodigy made yet another start in a 1-0 defeat away at Nottingham Forest in the final game of the campaign and capped off his breakthrough season with another impressive performance.

One would expect the 20-year-old to play a more significant role for the Trotters in League One next term, although a move to the Premier League certainly doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility, with Burnley weighing up a move for him.

Regarded as a fine young player with loads of potential, Brockbank is noted for his versatility to play in multiple positions across the backline. The 20-year-old featured as a right-back for Bolton in the Championship this past season but he is also capable of playing as a central defender and as a holding midfielder.

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To put things into perspective, Burnley have always prioritised signing homegrown domestic players in the transfer window and the Clarets’ links to the promising 20-year-old Bolton prodigy shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to the fans at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche always favours bringing in players who have honed their skills in English football and Brockbank certainly fits the bill.

Burnley already have a strong defensive unit and it looks unlikely that the 20-year-old would go on to play a significant role in the Premier League for the Clarets next term. In all probability, he would initially go into the U-23 side, where it will be up to him to prove his worth and break into the first-team in the years to come.

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If a move does materialize, Burnley might as well look to arrange a loan deal for the youngster next season to allow him to further his development with regular first-team exposure. Brockbank only played a handful of games in the Championship last term and he certainly needs a lot more time to be ready for the Premier League.

To Read More Burnley News, Click Here:- Latest Burnley News

All in all, Brockbank is a talented player but he is one for the future, and snapping him up for free could prove to be a piece of smart and risk-free business for the Clarets.

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Burnley

Burnley signing this £3m-rated star related to Romelu Lukaku would be a strong statement of intent

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Burnley Opinion: The acquisition of Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo could mark the beginning of a more dynamic recruitment policy at Turf Moor

According to Lancashire Live, Burnley have been credited with an interest in Rapid Wien full-back Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, with reports claiming that recently-relegated outfit Huddersfield Town are also interested in securing the services of the 23-year-old.

Lancashire Live understands that Bolingoli-Mbombo, who is the cousin of Man United star Romelu Lukaku, is rated at £3 million by the Austrian heavyweights.

The 23-year-old left-back made a total of 42 appearances for Rapid Wien in all competitions this past season and contributed with 2 goals and 5 assists. Bolingoli-Mbombo also featured in the club’s Europa League campaign, which ended with a defeat against Inter Milan in the Round-of-32 stage.

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A youth product of Belgian outfit Clube Brugge, Bolingoli-Mbombo made his first-team debut for his boyhood club in the 2013-14 season before going on to play a more significant role in the subsequent campaigns.

However, the youngster found himself in and out of the first-team due to stiff competition for places and managed only 64 appearances in all competitions over the course of four seasons, scoring on 7 occasions.

The highlight of the 23-year-old’s time at Clube Brugge came in the 2014-15 season of the Europa League, with the left-back scoring a brace against Besiktas in the Round-of-16 to propel his team to the quarter-finals.

Bolingoli-Mbombo featured in the Champions League in the 2016-17 season before leaving his homeland to join Austrian outfit Rapid Wien in 2017.

The left-back made an instant impact in the Austrian top-flight and established himself as one of the mainstays of Wien’s first-team in his debut season. In all competitions till date, Bolingoli-Mbombo has made a total of 73 appearances, scoring thrice and assisting a further 10 in the process.

To put things into perspective, Burnley are currently not crying out for reinforcements at left-back, although the Clarets might consider bringing in a replacement for Stephen Ward, who departed the club on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract this summer.

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Although it is not absolutely necessary for Burnley to sign a new left-back right now, the Clarets’ links with Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo suggests that the club has finally extended its scouting base to hunt for talents outside the country.

Recruiting British-based players has been one of the hallmarks of Burnley’s transfer policy over the years, with Belgian midfielder Steven Defour being one of the very few players to have arrived at Turf Moor from foreign leagues.

Adopting such a stance in the market has worked well for Sean Dyche, who apparently favours investing in youngsters who have honed their skills in English football. That sort of thinking certainly makes sense, given that Burnley haven’t got millions to throw around in the market and bringing in homegrown talents eliminates a lot of risk as well.

Burnley have often shown the inclination to look at proven Premier League quality players in the transfer window, but one cannot help but feel that the Clarets gradually need to spread their scouting network throughout the continent and look for bright emerging talents in the foreign leagues if they are to keep moving in the right direction.

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In other words, Burnley need to adopt a more dynamic approach while recruiting new players. While bringing in homegrown players should continue to be a priority, the Clarets should also be open to the idea of playing low-cost gambles on young players who are plying their trade elsewhere in Europe.

That scouting network eventually needs to spread its roots to the other continents as well in due course of time.

Burnley have already got the likes of Robbie Brady and Charlie Taylor to fight it out for the left-back role but someone like Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, with his pace, trickery and versatility to play as a winger further up the pitch, could add that X-Factor and unpredictability to the club’s ranks.

It is true that Brady is also capable of playing as a winger but that should not put Burnley off in their pursuit of the 23-year-old left-back.

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To Read More Burnley News, Click Here:- Latest Burnley News

To sum it up, the acquisition of Bolingoli-Mbombo would be a bold move by Burnley and, maybe, the beginning of a more dynamic recruitment policy at Turf Moor.

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