Barnes injury worsens striker crisis

It never rains but it pours.

Just when Tom Heaton’s England call-up and a couple of wins had lifted the mood a bit, the news of Ashley Barnes’ injury brings us crashing back down to earth.

Chris Boden from the Burnley Express reports that Barnes is likely to be out long-term, missing the start of next season.

First and foremost it is awful news for Barnes himself, who acquitted himself very well in his debut Premier League season. The challenge from Fabian Delph was a bad one but it did not seem the sort of tackle to rule someone out for several months.

Barnes will be a massive loss to the club, especially adding to the impending departure of “massive Burnley fan” Danny Ings, who is leaving at the end of his contract.

That leaves Sean Dyche with three strikers – Sam Vokes, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Sordell. Between them they scored zero Premier League goals this season. It’s not really exaggerating to suggest a striker crisis is already developing at Turf Moor.

It was already clear we need to bring in a goalscorer in the summer but we perhaps now need to sign two new strikers during the transfer window. With Kieran Trippier seemingly on his way out of the club too, Dyche will have a large rebuild on his hands to prepare for a promotion push.

Strikers do not tend to come cheap and when players are affordable it is usually for a good reason. Take Juke and Marv as examples. The outlay on them was minimal in Premier League terms but they still ended up being poor value for money. Both will have the chance to make amends in the Championship, but they were bought to be Premier League players and must be judged as Premier League players. There is much work ahead for that pair to win over supporters.

Speculating about potential signings is one of the best ways to get through the barren football-less summer months so we asked on Twitter who fans thought we should go for. Among the daft and sensible suggestions were a few interesting names…

David Nugent

Bringing up former players is a typical Burnley fan thing to do but Nugent doesn’t seem like a bad shout on the face of it.

He is likely to be available after he found himself on the fringes at Leicester during the last season, but his wages could prove to be prohibitive.

Nugent has always been a regular goalscorer in the Championship and he seemed to enjoy his loan spell at Turf Moor a few years back – would he be keen on a return?

Wages would presumably be the big hurdle here and that might be the case for a few others names on this list.

Will Grigg

We probably aren’t going to be shopping in the Championship top scorers list, so MK Dons striker Grigg may well be a very interesting suggestion.

The 23-year-old scored 23 goals as the franchise club won promotion to the second tier and he was particularly prolific in the run-in when the pressure was on, hitting 10 in their last 12 games after a dodgy spring.

Grigg would probably not be cheap, but Charlie Austin and Danny Ings are proof of how valuable players from the lower leagues can turn out to be after a couple of years of development.

Patrick Bamford

Bamford will be at the top of a few shopping lists this summer and the young Chelsea man is certain to be in demand.

Prolific in various loan spells, Bamford is expected to go out on loan again, but perhaps a return to Middlesbrough is most likely for him.

Jose Mourinho may want him to be tested in the Premier League, but Dyche should certainly be asking the question. Bamford pretty much guarantees goals in the Championship.

Adam Le Fondre

Tom Farrar has already made a powerful case for the former Reading striker, who has hit double figures in his last two seasons at Championship level despite moving around a lot and being played out of position.

It’s only a couple of years since Le Fondre was boshing them in at Premier League level. He scores goals, and lots of them.

Chris Wood

Wood is another striker to have moved around a lot in the last few years and in that regard there are perhaps parallels to be drawn with Sam Vokes, who was positively nomadic before settling at Turf Moor.

The last season has been a bit of a write-off for Wood, who scored just once, although that was for Leicester City in the Premier League.

He has previously scored plenty in the Championship and would presumably be surplus to requirements at the King Power.

And on Football Manager he scored an absolute ton of goals for me a couple of years ago. So there’s that…

Zach Clough

My own selection is Clough, the 2o-year-old Bolton attacker who’s been compared to Lionel Messi and dubbed a “wonderkid” in the press.

He’s extremely raw but six goals in 10 appearances before a dislocated shoulder ended his season in March showed he has heaps of ability.

Clough is going to be in demand this summer and whoever gets him is signing a striker with vast potential. Sticking my neck on the line, he’s a potential £10m+ player and a future England international.

Bolton will be keen to hold on to their prized talent but they are in such a huge amount of debt that any serious offers will simply have to be considered.

Jamie Mackie

Mackie certainly fits the profile as a Dyche-type signing. He works his socks off and you know what you’re going to get from him.

It’s fair to say the 29-year-old’s career has stagnated in the last couple of years but he is not too old to make a success of himself elsewhere.

He’s never been prolific but he has also regularly been asked to play on the wing because of his high work rate.

Andre Gray

Gray didn’t have much of a career to write home about before this season, but he scored 18 goals to almost take Brentford into the Premier League.

Strong, fast with an eye for goal, Gray is certainly a player worth keeping an eye on, but Brentford are well-backed by a wealthy owner and will be under little pressure to sell one of their main assets.

Chris Martin

Martin’s injury perhaps cost Derby County a place in the Premier League as their form collapsed without him.

Scoring over 20 goals two seasons in a row is no mean feat and Martin is certainly one of the top strikers in the Championship.

At the age of 25 he has plenty of time to develop further, but perhaps he is a little similar in style to Juke and Vokes?

And after the palaver we had trying to sign Craig Bryson from the Rams last summer, could we seal the deal this time?

Nahki Wells

Wells is a name that always seems to come up and it is no wonder – he is a serious goalscorer.

Last season was a strange one for the former Bradford City man as he found himself in and out of the Huddersfield side.

Despite that, he hit 14 goals in 37 appearances, although three of those strikes did come at Chesterfield in the Capital One Cup.

He’s quick and he scores goals, but is he good enough?

Jermaine Beckford

Beckford caught the eye in the League One play-offs, scoring a hat-trick to send Preston North End back into the Championship.

Released by Bolton, Beckford certainly put himself in the shop window and there will no doubt be plenty of clubs happy to take a punt on him on a free transfer.

At the age of 31 his best years are arguably behind him, but he was a fine player at the highest point of his career.

Dwight Gayle

An £8m player not so long ago, Gayle has been on the periphery at Crystal Palace since the arrival of Alan Pardew, who preferred Glenn Murray up front.

Gayle is rapid and certainly knows where the goal is, but he may see his future in the Premier League.

Palace would certainly want to recoup a large percentage of their outlay on the former Peterborough man, but he would certainly score plenty in the Championship.

It might be a push financially, but Gayle is definitely a player of the right quality if we could afford him.

Assorted others

I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but there were far too many names suggested to go through individually.

Here’s some more: Izzy Brown, James Wilson, Rudy Gestede, Darren Bent, Will Keane, Marvin Emnes, Andi Weimann… the list is almost endless. Although this is the end of it. (Jamie added this joke to Natalie’s piece a little while ago while editing it, so I, as the editor of this piece would like to point out the lack of depth in Jamie’s joke reserves – ed.)

Do any of the above names catch your eye? Got anyone else in mind? Comment below.

28 thoughts on “Barnes injury worsens striker crisis”

    1. Got him on Fifa 15 manager mode as I felt he was the perfect replacement for Ings for when he left (so realistic, lol). Although expensive, he would be a great signing.

  1. I think Andre Gray is probably the best option. Warburton and Dyche have similar philosophy’s, so it shouldn’t take long for Gray to adapt.

    Doubt Will Grigg would leave MK Dons with them being promoted.

    I tweeted about Zach Clough a couple of months ago, he’s certainly worth keeping an eye on. Also Will Keane too, I’m sure is brother Michael could convince him to join us.

    1. Crisis? Have you not worked it out that the season has ended? Get behind the club for once. Yet more embarrassment from Smith.

    2. I saw Andre Gray on a dreary Saturday afternoon at Luton for a non-league day and he was one of the biggest non-factors I’ve ever witnessed in a football game.

  2. Four key Burnley first team players have now suffered ACL injuries in the past year or so. I remember this article from March 2014 by a Dutch fitness coach, who was critical of the “incompetent, outdated and archaic” training methods used by Wenger at Arsenal and Moyes at Man Utd following the injury to Arsenal’s Walcott:

    Key points he makes is that by hammering training in the short term pre-season players build up short term fitness but accumulate fatigue. Then as the matches come thick and fast during the season, there is less and less time for recovery, the nervous system and muscles around the knee get slower to respond, and the knee becomes de-stabilized.

    Then even routine knocks and collisions – like Marney, Long and now Barnes – or even routine movements – like Vokes – can lead to ACL tears.

    Maybe it’s time for Sean Dyche and his team to re-think some of the training regimens, plus make sure there’s a big enough squad to rotate players and make game substitutions to allow adequate recovery time.

  3. Yea, we’re usually in ‘crisis’ the week before the season starts, so we’re ahead of the wave this time. Mind you our ‘crisis’ season didn’t go too badly. Chin up everyone…

  4. “It’s not really exaggerating….” er…..yes it is. When Barnes arrived the web warriors gave him little respect. A makeweight they scoffed. His crucial goals and terrier like performances still didn’t convince everyone.Recently a NNN an article basically slated the player. Now this dross. Hysteria and bed wetting two months before a competetive game. Pretty much dismisses players like Sordell whilst forgetting the same was said of Ings when Austin left. Just more tappety tap crap from NNN I’m afraid. Bandwagon jumping, Ill informed. Speculative nonsense. Roll on August when this dross will be long forgotten.

      1. Maybe maybe not. But you’re discouning that possibility without even giving him a chance and prefer for example to big up a 32 year old who can play well for 60 minutes once every 8 games.

    1. I agree. Sordell. Is. A. Quality. Player. Who. Ever. Gets. The. In. The. Fans. Need. To. Give. Them. Time. I’d. Like.DGayle. carnt. See. That.happening. I’d. Be. Looking. To. Scotlan. / irland. Danny. Is. 22.

    2. So a person who is not Jamie wrote something on NNN that is different to what Jamie thinks? Great – that’s the whole point of this site. Different opinions.

      If you want to read the same old propaganda spin machine day-in-day-out go get the Daily Mail or Express.

    3. Also, the same wasn’t said of Ings when Austin left. We published a post saying he’d score 40 goals, and many NNN writers tipped Ings for big things. The only one rewriting history here is you, Paul.

  5. jamie mackie for me – if his head is right. unfortunately of course these guys have to want to come to Burnley – most won’t want to. Sigh!

  6. If. We. Get. A. Good. Fee. For. Ings. Spend. It. On. Nugent. An. Gayle. ??? Or. One. Of. Em. We d. Be. Dangerous. Then. OK. We d. Have. To. Spend. The. Danny. Money. But. We d. Be. Up. The. Top.

  7. Ings and Barnes have been our TWO starters for most of the season so we will need to bring in TWO “quality” starters this summer – one permanent to replace Ings and the other maybe a Premier League loanee for the season (until Barnes can return)…’s no good going for lower league strikers if we want an immediate return to the PL…….seriously hope the board won’t be cheapskates going for Hibernian strikers etc….they are not even in the Scottish Premier for heaven’ sake….look what a bad signing Stevie May at £650k has been for Sheff Wed (and May was SPL)….The board have to get their bulging wallets out this time and sign two top strikers, two central midfielders, one winger and a quality full-back (if Trippier leaves….there is an unspent £6 million left over from January’s transfer window debacle, we will probably get a £5 million total for Ings/Trippier, an extra £1.5 million for finishing above QPR… that’s AT LEAST £12.5 million which should be made available for Sean Dyche to spend on new players. ….the board must back SD this season or will never be forgiven by most fans.

  8. Gayle would be amazing but think he’s a premier league player now and can’t see it. Le Fondre would be a decent signing and think Nugent still has a lot to offer at championship level.

  9. What about Sagbo who has just been released by Hull ? I would like to see us sign P. Mcshane and J.Barton to add some bite into our team. Both committed and both up for the fight

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