Burnley signing this proven 23-year-old Championship star would ease their defensive woes


Why Burnley must make a move to sign Joe Worrall from Nottingham Forest

According to Alan Nixon of The Sun (h/t Nottinghamshire Live), Burnley could rekindle their interest in Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall in the January transfer window.

The centre-back had been linked with a move to the Premier League, with the Reds knocking back multiple offers in the summer. However, the Clarets could be set to make another move for Worrall next month. (h/t Nottinghamshire Live)


Born in Nottingham, England, Worrall started out at Hucknall Sports before he was picked up by the Nottingham Forest academy. The defender enjoyed a rapid rise through the youth ranks at the club and made his senior debut in 2016, after a short loan spell at Dagenham & Redbridge FC.

Having been in and around the first-team picture for the next couple of years, Worrall spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Scottish giants Rangers, where he scored once in 32 matches.

Nottingham Forest's Joe Worrall in action. (Getty Images)
Nottingham Forest’s Joe Worrall in action. (Getty Images)

Since returning, the 23-year-old has become a permanent member of the Nottingham Forest backline, featuring 108 times so far. However, a fractured foot has meant that the Englishman has made just four appearances in the ongoing season. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Worrall a long-term replacement for James Tarkowski at Burnley

Burnley, meanwhile, have endured a difficult start to the new season after a disappointing summer transfer window that saw Sean Dyche make no notable signings.

Usually solid at the back, the Clarets have already shipped in 18 goals this season, which is the joint fourth-worst defensive record in the league. As things stand, Burnley have just three senior centre-backs in the form of James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Kevin Long, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.

Furthermore, Tarkowski has been linked with an exit since summer and his future remains uncertain given that he has refused to sign an extension on his contract that runs until 2022. (h/t Nottinghamshire Live)

While Dyche can call upon youngsters Jimmy Dunne and Bobby Thomas, they lack the experience to help navigate tricky waters in the Premier League and guide Burnley to safety. Thus, investing in a new centre-back who can improve the side immediately while also replace contract rebel Tarkowski in the long run would be a good move.

Joe Worrall of Nottingham Forest reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest at Ewood Park on October 01, 2019 in Blackburn, England. (Getty Images)
Joe Worrall of Nottingham Forest reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest at Ewood Park on October 01, 2019, in Blackburn, England. (Getty Images)

Worrall, to that end, would be a viable option for Burnley to consider. The 23-year-old has been impressive at Nottingham Forest and Rangers prior to that and has garnered plenty of first-team experience. He would add some much-needed depth at the heart of the Clarets’ backline.

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Burnley don’t have enough quality depth in central defence. In addition, with Long’s contract expiring and Tarkowski’s future uncertain, it is imperative for Dyche to bring in a new defender. And signing Worrall would address that issue for the Clarets.