Why Nathan Holland would be a smart signing for Burnley in January
Back in September, ExWHUemployee (h/t Burnley Express) had mentioned Burnley among the potential suitors for West Ham starlet Nathan Holland. Bournemouth, Brighton and QPR were also understood to have expressed an interest in signing the winger during the summer window but nothing came to fruition, with the 22-year-old staying put in East London.
A youth exponent of Everton, Nathan Holland joined West Ham’s academy back in January 2017 and made his debut for the Hammers’ U-23 side in the Premier League 2 Division 2 during the 2016-17 campaign. He was handed his first-team debut against Bolton Wanderers in the EFL Cup in the following season but has only made 4 competitive appearances for West Ham so far.
Holland, though, has registered some impressive numbers for the U-23s, amassing 19 goals and 18 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions. The attacking midfielder was on fire for West Ham’s reserve side last season, scoring 12 goals in 13 appearances in the PL 2 before sealing a loan move to Oxford United in League One in January.
The 22-year-old scored thrice in 12 appearances for the U’s during the second half of the previous campaign before having his progress thwarted by a hamstring injury. Holland has also represented England at U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-19 levels.
Holland would add more depth to the Clarets’ attack
Burnley failed to make any significant additions to their squad during the summer window, with Dale Stephens and Will Norris the only new signings to come through the door at Turf Moor. The Clarets have already been made to pay a heavy price for their lack of transfer activity, with Sean Dyche’s side languishing 19th in the standings after accumulating just 5 points from their 9 league fixtures.
To that end, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Burnley are in desperate need of freshening up their squad with some new signings when the market reopens in January. The Clarets have scored just 4 goals so far, while conceding 17 in the process. These are numbers that clearly epitomise the need for immediate investment at both ends of the pitch.
Burnley have gaping holes in several areas of their squad and a potential deal for Nathan Holland in January would represent a smart piece of business with one eye on the future. The Clarets have only three wide attacking options in the form of Dwight McNeil, Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson. Holland’s arrival would undoubtedly ensure better competition for places.
Also, with Gudmundsson and Brady out of contract next summer, Burnley can certainly afford to invest in a promising youngster like Holland with a view to grooming him as a regular starter on the flanks.
The West Ham starlet lacks much senior experience under his belt but his impressive record of goals and assists for the U-23s should be enough to warrant him a shot at the highest level.
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Burnley haven’t been able to compete financially with their Premier League rivals in recent years, leaving Dyche with a stagnant squad to steer the club to safety season after season.
Nathan Holland hardly fits the bill as a high-profile signing but he is a player with immense potential who could well go on to have a big impact at Turf Moor in the years to come.