A missed opportunity – Burnley should have beaten Stoke to sign this 21-year-old rising Welsh star


Why Burnley signing Rhys Norrington-Davies would have been a smart move

According to a report from Examiner Live back in November, Burnley were among a host of clubs interested in securing the services of Sheffield United left-back Rhys Norrington-Davies in the January window.

However, the 21-year-old has joined Stoke City after being recalled from his loan spell at Luton Town. Norrington-Davies was sent out on loan by manager Chris Wilder this past summer and has caught the eye with a string of solid displays at Kenilworth Road during the first half of the campaign. 

Player profile

Born in Saudi Arabia, Norrington-Davies migrated to the UK at a very young age and played for Bow Street, Aberystwyth Town, and Merstham at the youth level.

Rhys Norrington-Davies Features In Wales U21s Victory - News - Rochdale AFC

He furthered his development in the youth ranks of Swansea City before completing a move to Sheffield United in 2018. Norrington-Davies spent time on loan at Barrow in the National League and Rochdale in League One during his first two seasons at Bramall Lane.

The Welsh starlet established himself as a regular fixture at the back on loan at Luton Town in the Championship this term. He accumulated 3 assists in 22 appearances for the Hatters across all competitions, earning rave reviews for his development. 

The highly-rated full-back is yet to make a competitive appearance for Sheffield United but his rise to prominence was rewarded with a senior debut for Wales in a 1-0 win over Bulgaria back in October. The youngster has continued to enhance his reputation at the international level, featuring against Ireland and Finland towards the end of last year.

Stoke City linked with January transfer for Sheffield United left-back -  Stoke-on-Trent Live
Norrington-Davies has burst on to the scene for Wales at the senior international level (Getty Images)

Burnley need a left-back

Burnley can certainly do with a new left-back in their ranks. Charlie Taylor has been an undisputed starter under Sean Dyche over the past few years but the Clarets need more competition in that department.

With Erik Pieters (32), Matthew Lowton (31) and Phil Bardsley (35) all out of contract next summer, the Lancashire outfit need to freshen up things with some young blood.  Putting things into context, Rhys Norrington-Davies ticked the box to come through the door at Burnley as an excellent long-term signing.

The youngster already made great progress on loan at Luton Town in the Championship whilst also establishing himself for Wales at the international level. That clearly points to a bright future in the game for a player aged just 21. 

Rhys Norrington-Davies on Wales call-up and life at Luton - News - Luton  Town
Norrington-Davies has caught the eye on loan at Luton Town in the Championship this season (Getty Images)

Norrington-Davies might not have walked straight into Burnley’s starting XI given Taylor’s stranglehold on that role. But the exciting youngster would have offered Dyche a quality alternative amid the uncertainties over the futures of some ageing stars like Pieters, Bardsley and Lowton. 

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Burnley need to bolster their squad with some fresh faces in the January window after failing to conduct any productive business in the summer. The Clarets have had a lot of success in nurturing young homegrown talents during their stay in the Premier League.

Rhys Norrington-Davies looks like a player in a similar mould. The Welsh starlet clearly has a lot of potential, and the Clarets should have taken a punt on the player.