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Burnley extend 29-year-old star’s contract – Could it be a step in the right direction?

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - APRIL 06: Ashley Westwood of Burnley shouts during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Burnley FC at Vitality Stadium on April 06, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Why a contract extension for Ashley Westwood is a good move by Burnley

According to LancsLive, Burnley have exercised their option to extend the contract of midfielder Ashley Westwood, who is set to remain at Turf Moor for another year.

The midfielder’s contract would have expired at the end of the season but the report suggests that the Clarets have triggered the option based on the number of appearances Westwood has made.

Westwood, 29, came through the ranks of Crewe Alexandra’s youth system and moved to Aston Villa in 2012. After five years and 162 appearances for the Villans, he signed for Burnley. In his debut season at Turf Moor, he was in and out of the team initially but from the second half of that campaign, the Englishman has been a regular starter under Sean Dyche.

He established himself in the middle of the park for Burnley and has been one of their best players ever since he arrived. He was named their best player of the year at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Ashley Westwood (Getty Images)
Ashley Westwood (Getty Images)

The Englishman provided those behind him with a solid presence in the midfield was also able to contribute with 2 goals and 7 assists. And therefore, Burnley have made the best decision by extending his contract.

Dyche’s men started the season on a low note and were languishing lower in the table. However, they have overcome that and are unbeaten in their 5 league games. This has propelled them to the 9th position in the league.

On the other hand, the manager should look to form a full-strength squad for the next season and would be hoping to keep hold of their key players. And retaining Ashley Westwood, who has agreed to stay for another year at Turf Moor, is the best thing.

The 29-year-old has continued with the fine form he showed in the last campaign, having already scored twice while providing 5 assists. This is kind of a good feat by a defensive midfielder, who mostly plays in an anchoring role.

Westwood put in a match-winning performance against Leicester in January and also scored a stunner to win the game for the Clarets. From there on, they have never lost a game and he would be a crucial member of the squad if he is able to reproduce the same form next season.

Ashley Westwood (Getty Images)
Ashley Westwood (Getty Images)

The former Crewe man has formed a strong partnership with Jack Cork in the middle of the park and the duo are the only two defensive midfielders available at Dyche’s disposal.

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Verdict

Burnley are in dire need of midfielders to improve the depth in their squad and they need to bring in reinforcements in the summer. However, keeping Westwood for another year is a wise decision as he as a lot more to offer and the Clarets must make much use of his presence.

 

 

 

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