As teams across the country filter into pre-season training mode, Sean Dyche's Burnley will begin preparations for a second consecutive season in the top flight without one of their key players in recent years.
The hunt begins for Mee's next partner
Michael Keane has helped to solidify the back four, developing an effective partnership with Ben Mee since arriving in September 2014. Yet Everton swooped in over the summer, offering a fee that could rise to £30 million, providing Burnley with helpful cashflow support but breaking up one of the best defensive partnerships in the Premier League.
Although Keane and Mee could not prevent Burnley slipping out of the top flight when the former arrived from Manchester United for the 2014-15 season, the pairing adapted their game to support each other as they bounced straight back up the following season. Keane played 44 of the 46 Championship games during the campaign, netting five times in the process.
During last season the pair stepped up their game even further. Burnley became renowned for a tough defensive unit, centred around Keane and Mee, that teams found tough to break down at Turf Moor. That stubborn work ethic ensured Burnley avoided Premier League relegation for the first time in their history.
"I've had the best three years of my life here"
In a statement to his now former Club, Keane admitted "what a tough decision it has been to leave this amazing football club. I can honestly say I have had the best three years of my life here, on and off the pitch".
The 24-year old admitted manager Dyche played a big role in his development. “He showed a lot of faith in me three years ago when it could have been easy for me to stay at United and look for an opportunity there. He convinced me to come to Burnley and develop under his guidance and I put that down as one of the best decisions I've ever made".
The £30 million player, a Burnley Club record, concluded "as for my teammates, I can honestly say I've never enjoyed playing with a group of people more. The fans have been amazing with me and the team since day one. Through low times and the many successful times we have had together".