Burnley's left-back battle
(Clive Brunskill / Getty Images)

Burnley manager Sean Dyche may have a tough decision to make when it comes to picking his first choice left-back this season. 

The two players in question are Charlie Taylor and Erik Pieters, who both played regular football for the club last season.

  •  Charlie Taylor

Last season, which was effected by COVID-19, Taylor made 26 appearances in all competitions and has a 1.62 points-per-game ratio. His most noticeable emissions from the squad came in their two biggest defeats against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur

His career started at Leeds United where he came through the youth ranks. He had loan spells at Bradford City, York City, Inverness and Fleetwood Town before making 84 Leeds United first team appearances. After his Leeds spell came to an end he moved to The Clarets where he comfortably filled the shoes of Stephen Ward. 

Taylor, who is 26, has slotted into the back four well and has been rarely threatened until the arrival Pieters. Taylor's ability to cross the ball has been a huge aspect to him succeed under Dyche. Although he isn't the fastest his ability to track his man and recover the ball is impeccable.

  • Erik Pieters

The Dutch international made the same amount of appearances as his English counterpart (26) and has a 1.27 points-per-game ratio. He was most prominent since the return from COVID-19 where he played both at left-midfield and left-back. 

Pieters has made 452 career appearances and started his career in 2006/07 with FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie. From Utrecht he moved to PSV, Stoke and Amiens SC before signing for Burnley in 2019. He has also made 15 appearances for the Netherlands national side. The Dutchman has also won an U21 European Championship, a Dutch Cup and two Dutch Super Cups.

At Burnley, the 32-year-old, has been utilised in more than one position and his ability to play as a defensive winger gives him an edge over Taylor. His passing play is coupled with a sound defensive knowledge which makes him a very similar typed player to Taylor. 

  • Final Verdict

The fact both players are pretty similar means the choice is actually pretty easy for Dyche. Better performances and better form will decide who will make the first-team for Burnley.

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