Despite five new signings for the 2017-18 season, Burnley manager Sean Dyche has admitted he is still on the look out for new recruits. However, he has promised he will not rush the process in the wake of Andre Gray's £18 million departure to Watford.
Did contract demands play a part?
Dyche admitted the timing of Gray's transfer "was not ideal" as Burnley prepare to face Premier League champions Chelsea in the season curtain-raiser.
He hinted at a possible contractual conflict playing a part in the decision. “It’s difficult for the player because they’ve got to make a decision and difficult for us as a club because often financially a player has outgrown the club from their contract side of things."
However, Dyche has suggested the departure of the pacey forward provides opportunities for other players in his squad. "It's a chance for another of our good players to play and make a name for themselves, in whichever shape or form that comes."
Gray himself delivered a passionate farewell message to the Clarets on social media. He stated, "all I can say to everyone connected with Burnley is thank you. The club helped me achieve my dream of playing in the Premier League and gave me the chance to do that".
He added, "I will never forget anyone there for what they've done for me."
"There have to be the right players available"
Whether Gray's goals can be replaced from within the current set of players remains to be seen, particularly as Dyche is keeping his eyes open elsewhere. The manager admitted, “we are still in the market. There is money available but there has to be the right players available."
Dyche is wary of the damage buying the wrong players can do. He added, “no-one wants to get the recruitment model wrong. It’s not an exact science. We have to be as sure as we possibly can on who we are bringing in in the future."
However, Dyche suggested, "the club has got to continue to build a recruitment process".
Burnley face Chelsea on the first day of the Premier League season on Saturday, with Jonathan Walters expected to join Sam Vokes in attack.