This morning has brought some welcome good news – apparently Reading want to sign Steven Reid in the summer.
Reid is one of the five first team squad members to be out of contract in the summer, and with the season entering its final weeks Sean Dyche will be mulling over who to keep and who to let go.
So let’s take a look at the five in question.
In a summer of terrible signings, Reid stands alone as the worst of the lot by a distance.
He has started one game this season, the 4-0 thrashing at his old club West Brom, when he was hauled off at the break after a diabolical performance, the worst individual showing of the season so far. He was completely off the pace and out of his depth playing in front of the back four and there is no doubt we got the worst end of the bargain in the sort-of swap with WBA for Chris Baird.
The highlight of Reid’s time at Turf Moor was coming on late in the 0-0 home draw with Manchester United and taking one for the team to earn a late booking. That was his sole positive contribution in claret and blue.
It was a bad decision to sign Reid, but it would be an astonishing one to give him a new contract.
I’d drive him to Reading myself but I can’t drive, so I’ll offer to pay for his train tickets instead. I’m generous like that.
Wallace has made 17 appearances this season but the vast majority of them have been short cameos from the bench.
At the age of 29 he is at something of a crossroads in his career and he really needs to be playing regular football.
Wallace earned us a hard-fought point at Leicester with a superb late free kick, but apart from that his impact has been minimal. He impressed in a lively cameo against Aston Villa at the Turf, but other than that has not improved us when he’s been on the pitch.
The Scot wasn’t a key player last year either, playing 15 times, and it’s hard to see him being anything other than a benchwarmer next season. He’s started only a handful of games in the last two season.
I’d let him go and I’d be surprised if he went to anything more than a bottom-end Championship club.
Duff is a genuine Clarets legend and has improved the back line since replacing Michael Keane in the side recently.
At 37, there is no doubt he is coming to the end of his career and the testimonial he will have this summer is extremely well deserved.
Keane is obviously the future of the Burnley defence but with Jason Shackell showing enough quality to show he is a Premier League player – I’d expect Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth to be interested in him – Duff would be useful for another year. A Duff-Keane combination looks very solid to me.
With Kevin Long out injured long term the Clarets are short of defensive options and keeping Duff around will help to manage that area of the pitch for another 12 months.
Duff is the only Claret to have been promoted to the Premier League twice and that experience is invaluable.
He’s already working on his coaching badges and if he is willing to take a player-coach deal that could be an ideal solution.
The injury to Deano was perhaps the key moment in our season. It happened when we were 2-0 up and cruising at home to West Brom, a game we somehow contrived to draw thanks to typically crap defending.
Marney has been the heartbeat of the team for the last couple of years and his partnership with David Jones in the middle of the park has been integral to our success under Dyche.
Jones has struggled of late, no doubt missing his usual midfield partner, with Scott Arfield unable to provide the energy, drive and incisive passing Marney is known for.
He might pick up far too many stupid bookings but Marney has become a real fans’ favourite at Turf Moor after his first couple of years at the club were pretty average.
Marney’s injury is likely to keep him out of action until Christmas and perhaps even longer, but Burnley should still give him a new contract.
He can be the cliched ‘like a new signing’ boost when he returns to fitness next season.
It’s been a strange season for Ings and it is ending badly, with the 22-year-old being strongly criticised for not taking the crucial penalty against Leicester City at the weekend.
He has scored nine goals this season, our top scorer by a long way, and has contributed to 50% of the goals we’ve scored.
But supporters will remember the chances he has missed too, such as the late header at Everton, that could have made all the difference. Those who defend Ings – and I’m definitely among them – note that the service to him has often been rubbish, but he certainly could have had a few more goals.
Ings’ confidence is low right now and some fans’ have mistaken that for him not caring, which is pretty insulting to one of the most honest and passionate pros to have played for the club in recent years. But he’s an easy target to make a scapegoat since it has been obvious for months he intends to run down his contract to get the best deal in the summer.
There is little doubt Ings will move on to bigger and better things in the summer, although the mooted moves to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United may not materialise after his recent loss of form.
All players go through bad patches and Ings is certainly in one now, with no goals since his fine header at Old Trafford, but without his strikes earlier in the season we would probably already be relegated.
Hopefully supporters will remember his superb last season, in which he fired us to promotion and was named the Championship’s Player of the Year.
We asked for your opinions on the above five out of contract players on Twitter. Here’s a selection of responses:
— Mikey Watson (@MD11WAT) April 29, 2015
@NoNayNeverNet Ings is going obv, Duff player/coach role, Marney a couple of years extension, Reid/Wallace get rid ASAP.
— Ben Kilbride (@benkilbride85) April 29, 2015
@NoNayNeverNet defo keep Marney. 2 years sounds about right. Duff a year. Rest can go
— PTRK WLTN (@waltonyeah) April 29, 2015
@NoNayNeverNet I'd let them all go – unless we can keep Ings. Enough Championship experience and talent in the squad without them.
— Ed Taylor (@EdTTaylor) April 29, 2015
@NoNayNeverNet duff two. Marney two wallace one. Ings need to prove him self 😊.and I've forgotten who Reid is. So release him
— Matthew Bostock (@BostockMatthew) April 29, 2015
— Esther Jackson (@Estherfc) April 29, 2015
@NoNayNeverNet let Duff go need to start looking to the future, starting at WH with Keane back in the team. I'd keep Marney & Wallace.
— Jordan Neary (@jordanneary) April 29, 2015
@NoNayNeverNet I'd give Duff & Wallace another year and Marney two.
— Shirley Wells (@Shirley_Wells) April 29, 2015
@NoNayNeverNet give Marney another year and give Duff a player-coach gig with the emphasis on coach. We need to give Keane a run in 2nd tier
— Tom Whittaker (@tomclaret) April 29, 2015
@NoNayNeverNet I'd keep Marney. Wallace an Reid can go. Duff can be part of the coaching. Ings moved in January!!!
— Rocket (@rocketron138) April 29, 2015
Which of the five players should Burnley keep? Comment below.