Why Burnley signing Steve Cook would be an excellent move
According to claims from The Sun journalist Alan Nixon on Twitter, Burnley are interested in Bournemouth centre-back Steve Cook, with manager Sean Dyche keen to bolster his defence before the summer deadline.
The reputed insider adds that it would take a fee of around £8m for the Clarets to bring the 29-year-old to Turf Moor while Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann and Watford’s Craig Dawson have also been mentioned among the potential targets.
Born in Hastings, England, Steve Cook rose through the youth ranks of Brighton & Hove Albion but went on to make only 6 first-team appearances for the Seagulls. He spent time on loan at several non-league clubs before joining Bournemouth on a permanent deal in 2012 on the back of a successful loan spell with the Cherries.
Cook has since been a bonafide witness to Bournemouth’s journey through the divisions. The 29-year-old helped the Cherries secure promotion from League One to the Championship and then to the Premier League before establishing himself as a force to reckon with in the top-flight.
Cook was one of the standout performers for Bournemouth during the club’s five-year stay in the Premier League, having caught the eye with his leadership skills at the back. He was one of the few players to come away with some genuine credit last season despite the Cherries suffering relegation back down to the second-tier.
The Hastings-born star has made a total of 340 appearances for Bournemouth in all competitions, scoring 21 goals and registering 9 assists in the process. (h/t Transfermarkt)
Cook would be a good signing regardless of Tarkowski’s future
James Tarkowski’s future at Turf Moor has been the subject of widespread speculation this summer. West Ham emerged as the most interested party for the England international earlier in the window but were forced to end their interest after having multiple bids rejected by Burnley.
Leicester City, though, are still going hammer and tongs at a potential deal for Tarkowski and The Telegraph reports that the Foxes are edging closer to meeting the Clarets’ £40m valuation of the highly sought-after defender.
Tarkowski’s potential departure would be a massive blow for Burnley. And Dyche will surely need to cast his rod for a replacement if Tarkowski ends up switching boats.
The manager has relied on academy graduate Jimmy Dunne to partner veteran Kevin Long at the heart of the defence in the first few games this season, with Tarkowski and Ben Mee currently nursing injuries.
Both have done a credible job but bringing in a new centre-back would make a lot of sense regardless of what the future holds for Tarkowski, with Ben Gibson currently out on loan and not a part of the manager’s plans moving forward.
Steve Cook, to that end, ticks the box as a reliable and experienced defender, having played 168 games for Bournemouth in the Premier League. He showed that he is more than capable of delivering solid displays at the back week in, week out, at the highest level, thus making him more than worth a punt for Burnley.
- Why Burnley should offload Ben Gibson amidst interest
- Why Baptiste Santamaria would be an excellent fit at Burnley
The 29-year-old still has several years remaining in his prime, meaning that Burnley can certainly afford to look at him as an effective low-cost replacement for Tarkowski, or even as a valuable squad option, for that matter.
Burnley would receive a massive boost to their transfer kitty if they manage to sell Tarkowski at anything close to their £40m asking price. And signing a quality replacement like Steve Cook at just a fraction of that price would represent an excellent piece of business, leaving Dyche with plenty of funds to bolster other areas of his squad.