Sean Dyche faces arguably the most important period in his managerial career. Burnley have not begun the season with the same vengeance that was expected after the club stormed to the Championship title. Victory over Liverpool and a draw at Manchester United are rare successes which see the Clarets only kept outside of the relegation places by a clutch of the worst sides in recent top-flight history.

Inspiring his team to break new physical barriers may not be enough for Dyche to prevent Burnley from fighting relegation during the second half of the campaign, meaning the January window could hold the key between a comfortable and rough new year. The funds do appear to be available for Dyche, but it must be spent with greater acumen than during the summer when their transfer record was broken twice in the final week of the window.

What they need

Goals. At the time of writing, no side outside of the bottom three has scored fewer goals in the Premier League than Burnley. No single player has netted more than four times, while Andre Gray's suspension has disrupted Dyche's selection in attack. Perhaps more worryingly, eight times already this term the Turf Moor club have failed to score.

Perhaps more importantly, Dyche needs to add creativity to his squad. Jeff Hendrick and George Boyd have been over-relied on and given that the likes of Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes have proven they have an eye for goals it could be supply line that needs addressing first.

Sean Dyche
Dyche faces a huge month as he attempts to keep Burnley in the Premier League Getty Images

Who could join?

Ashley Young appears certain to leave Manchester United, with Dyche among his suitors according to The Sun, an addition which could assist both ends of the pitch. Bournemouth's Max Gradel is also on their radar according to the same publication as Burnley look to improve their options in wide areas, though the Ivory Coast international could be involved in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Brighton face a challenge to keep hold of Dale Stephens after they turned down several bids from Burnley in the summer. Seagulls chief executive Paul Barber said, according to the Lancashire Telegraph: "We're going to do everything possible to keep the group together as we did in the summer, to add to it where we can and need to, and where Chris [Hughton] says we need to. Hopefully the second half of the season will be as strong as the first and we're in the best possible position."

Who could leave?

Michael Keane's England call-up has sparked rumours regarding his future at Burnley. Chelsea are considering a £25m ($31m) move for the defender, to replace captain John Terry, says The Guardian. The Daily Mirror meanwhile understands Everton are interested in a deal for the 23-year-old to solve their defensive woes.

Ashley Young
Young appears destined to leave Old Trafford in January. Getty Images

Tom Heaton signed a new contract in the summer but could yet be subject to interest in January. The England stopper has made more saves in the Premier League than any other player, including a miraculous stop to keep out Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford in November.

What the manager has said

"We work with a low squad number, I quite like that and want the competitive nature of everyone more or less being on the edge of being involved," said Dyche, according to the Lancashire Telegraph. "There's a challenge to that with injuries and suspensions.

"Some of it is balancing finance as well and aligning the right players, and it was difficult in the last window and I'm sure it will be difficult in January There's plenty of work going on behind the scenes to see what we can affect and what we need. There's loads of work to be done, we know that, with the group we've got and whether we can affect it in January with another new look and affect it from outside coming into the building."