Sean Dyche
Dyche is wary of the challenges Burnley face in January - both keeping his squad together and in strengthening it. Getty


  • Sean Dyche is wary of big clubs swooping for his star centre-back this month.
  • Long-term injury victim Brady may need to be replaced to provide a wide option.

What does the proudest man in Proudsville want from the January window? Burnley's remarkable first-half of the season has seen them keep pace with those sides challenging for European qualification with one of the smallest squads in the Premier League with only 20 different players making an appearance for the club so far.

The Clarets success has come from having one of the most settled starting XIs about this term but one or two injuries – with the loss of Robbie Brady already posing a problem – could potentially destabilise a historic campaign for the club. And with envious glances being cast in the direction of James Tarkowski, perhaps their biggest challenge will be keeping the group together until the end of the season.

What they need

Burnley do not have a specific timeline in place for Brady's return but with Dyche explaining the Republic of Ireland international will be "out for a substantial recovery period" we do not expect to see him back this season. Brady had played in all 15 league matches this season before that collision with Harry Maguire against Leicester City in December; another wide option will be needed for the second half of the season.

While Ben Mee and Tarkowski been formidable this term, scratch beneath the surface and Burnley are lacking in adept cover with Kevin Long their only other recognised centre-half.

Who could join

Burnley can only watch on in awe as Liverpool, a team only five points ahead of them, spend £75m during the mid-season window. As ever, the Clarets will have to be frugal in whatever business they do over the next 30 days.

Queens Park Rangers captain Nedum Onuoha is reportedly a defensive target for the club, with initial enquiries said to have been made in early December.

Who could leave

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have all been credited with interested in £30m-rated Tarkwoski, whose superb rise this season is now seeing him touted as a possible candidate for Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad next summer. Dyche has been unable to give fans reassurances that the clubs biggest players will not leave and for understandable reasons.

James Tarkowski
Tarkowski linked with a big-money move away from Turf Moor. Getty Images

Summer signings Jonathan Walters and Nahki Wells could be candidates to leave this month having struggled to break into Dyche's first-team. Wells has made one appearance in the league so far this term, a four minute cameo off the bench against Tottenham Hotspur, and while Walters' campaign has largely been disrupted by a knee problem, he is reportedly on Steve Bruce's radar at Aston Villa.

What the manager has said

"We've had interest in our players ever year, from Charlie Austin all the way through, so were used to it," he said. "We're happy with the contract situation with our players and that's all you can do nowadays.

"It's a market and, when you think of some of the numbers this summer, there is no ceiling. So it's not realistic for me to sit here and say none of our players are going anywhere

"Some teams can do that but we can't. But, as I said, the players are under contract, so we know where we are as a business. The fact they're getting looked at - if they are - is a sign of our success.

"That's part of what's been going on for the five seasons I've been here. We're not under pressure to make sales but the market is what it is."