Deeney and Pukki linked to Burnley - is it what the Clarets need?
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Burnley are looking to improve their frontline with the names of two relegated strikers, Teemu Pukki and Troy Deeney, being monitored by those Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche guided Burnley to a tenth place finish in the Premier League, as a run of just two defeats since the restart pushed the team into European contention only to fall short in the final few games.

Goals were in short supply, with the Clarets finding the net just 43 times which, alongside 50 conceded, meant they would finish behind ninth place Sheffield United on goal difference.

The addition of more goals is paramount for the Lancashire side, as Chris Wood was the only player to hit double digits in the league with 14 goals.

Embed from Getty Images

Ashley Barnes only managed to feature in 19 games yet still found the net six times and Jay Rodriguez, who took the place of Barnes, found the net eight times in 36 appearances.

It is clear, Burnley need more prolific strikers if they are to progress in the Premier League.

Are Deeney and Pukki the answer?

No.

Deeney has a long history with injury, revealing after his Watford side’s relegation that he will get another knee surgery this summer to try and fix an everlasting problem that some fear could lead to his untimely retirement.

Embed from Getty Images

Deeney was the only Hornets player to reach double figures for the season, scoring 10 times in 27 appearances in a very poor side.

However, his mobility is questionable and, although Dyche does like to play with a more traditional two up front formation with two big strikers, it is unclear how Deeney’s game would benefit Wood’s or vice versa.

He does score a lot of his goals from the penalty spot as well, and the Clarets and spot kicks have not gone hand in hand over the previous number of seasons.

Norwich City striker Pukki started his debut season in the top flight in impeccable form, scoring four times in his first two games including a hat trick at home to Newcastle on his way to winning August’s Player of the Month award.

However as Norwich’s results started to faulter, as did Pukki’s form and confidence and from starting the season with six goals in five games, Pukki would only find the net five more times in his next 31 appearances.

Embed from Getty Images

That bleak run included an eight game drought in the middle of the season and ended the season without scoring in his last 14 appearances.

He stopped making the runs that gave him success in the Championship and did not look to be enjoying his football.

The bonus of these two players is that both clubs are going to be looking to sell players so they can build a squad capable of bouncing straight back to the top table.

One negative on the other hand is one main reason they are in the position they are in is that they didn’t score enough goals, and the main culprits have to be the two names linked with Burnley.

Who should Burnley be looking at?

There are more pressing issues in the Burnley side that need addressing before a striker.

Wood, Barnes, Rodriguez and also Matej Vydra will be able to score goals next season as they are all proven strikers in English football.

If they were to bring a frontman in, though, they should be looking at the other end of the age scale.

Youth is what is needed to keep Burnley a competitive side in the Premier League, and that may require dropping down the divisions to find someone to fit this bill.

Look no further than Peterborough United star Ivan Toney.

Toney and The Posh came to Turf Moor for the FA Cup Third Round game in January, where the Clarets defeated their League One opposition 4-2.

Embed from Getty Images

The former Newcastle Striker scored in that game, rounding Joe Hart and confidently sliding the ball home in front of the travelling support.

At 24 years old, Toney has become a revelation in Cambridgeshire, finishing the season nine goals clear of his closest contender in the Golden Boot race, even with the season being curtailed 11 games early.

Available at a similar price to Deeney and Pukki, Toney can offer more alongside a striker than the aforementioned names, being able to play as a target man or to use his pace to get in behind, although it appears Celtic are the favourites to land the big striker’s signature.

The strikers need chances to be created, though and, with Jeff Hendrick leaving the club at the end of his contract, the Clarets are in desperate need of a midfielder to create depth and competition for Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood and Jack Cork.

Pukki’s teammate, Emi Buendia will also be available after was a bright spark in The Canaries rather dull campaign.

In what could be his last game for Norwich, Buendia was sent off against Burnley for violent conduct after he elbowed Ashley Westwood.

Embed from Getty Images

A bit of flair to light up Turf Moor would be needed, and Buendia could play down the middle or on either wing, which will be providing valuable cover after left back Erik Pieters deputised out of position.

In the right back position, Matty Cash of Nottingham Forest is being touted with a move to the club, which would provide a more attacking option than the one that Dyche has available to him currently in Phil Bardsley.

Retaining and improving on the squad will be the backroom staff’s priority this summer and, with the Coronavirus implications, it will be important more so now than ever that Burnley conduct their business in a shrewd and brisk fashion ahead of the season restarting on September 12.

VAVEL Logo