Ahead of the January transfer window, we take a look at some of the more questionable signings made by Burnley down the years.
Burnley are scrapping for their Premier League lives and may have to dip into the January transfer window if they are to steer a course to top-flight safety.
Sean Dyche will be expected to favour a cautious approach, with the Clarets aware of the need to avoid living beyond their means, but there comes a point when you have to speculate to accumulate.
That said, transfer dealings – particularly those carried out midway through a season – are never guaranteed to succeed, as some of the recruitment business carried out by Burnley in the past proves.
Remco van der Schaaf
Impressive name, but that might be all Burnley supporters remember him for. Van der Schaaf was good enough to earn U21 recognition with Holland in his younger days and represented the likes of Vitesse Arnhem and PSV Eindhoven prior to linking up with Burnley. He turned down an offer from Cardiff City to join the Clarets in 2008, but they may be wishing he hadn’t. He spent more time on loan at Brondby than he did in England, seeing out his Turf Moor contract in the process. He was released as a free agent in 2011.
Surely if Manchester United are willing to spend £3.5 million on him he must be good. Well, not exactly. Djemba-Djemba left the Red Devils faithful scratching their heads throughout his time at Old Trafford, with some wondering if Sir Alex Ferguson had lost the plot. He was, however, to move on to Aston Villa and eventually on loan to Burnley. Not once did he look like a Premier League footballer, though, with games often passing him by in the middle of the park. The Clarets did not invest a fee in him, and for that they must be thankful.
A leading member of the England one-cap club, it is odd to think that Ricketts was once considered good enough to represent his country. His decline upon leaving Bolton Wanderers was dramatic, but that did not stop a whole host of clubs from taking a punt on his services. Burnley were among those hoping to rekindle the striking flame after taking the burly frontman on loan from Leeds United. He did deliver two goals for the Clarets, but they came in his first three outings and the 10 which followed saw him slip back into his ineffective shell.
Who, I hear you cry, and you have every right to do so. Unless you are an ardent Burnley supporter, Berisha is unlikely to have registered on your footballing radar. He is a full Albania international and a man who spent time with Bundesliga side Hamburg prior to arriving in England. He caught Burnley’s eye during an outing against England B at Turf Moor, but that was the only time he got to impress on that particular field. Berisha spent the entire 2007/08 campaign out injured and time on loan at Rosenborg and Horsens before being offloaded by Burnley without making a competitive appearance.
It requires a special kind of talent to see a month-long loan deal ripped up. Clubs investing in players for such a short space of time would be expected to see the agreement through. Kendall, though, showed at Burnley that it is possible to be sent packing after just two appearances. He started positively enough for the Clarets after arriving from Swansea City, with a clean sheet secured on his debut. He was, however, to concede five in his next outing and Burnley decided that they had seen enough and sent him packing back to his native South Wales.
Dyche will be hoping that his New Year recruits are not added to the names above when similar lists are compiled in the future.
He will not be handed a blank cheque by his board, though, so will need to tread carefully and strike the right balance between bargain and cheap.