Burnley's Joey Barton
At the end of last season, Burnley fans celebrations as they gained promotion were tarnished slightly by the news that their talisman wouldn't be signing a new deal to extend his contract beyond his initial one-year spell.
Before the transfer window had even opened, they had a Joey Barton-sized hole to fill in the centre of the park. Sky Sports reports that a bid has been lodged for Euro 2016 star Jeff Hendrick, but with Derby County clearly determined to hold on to Hendrick, Burnley might want to consider these five other central midfielders as an alternative.
1. Henri Lansbury
Lansbury is a player who his been linked with a move to Burnley repeatedly for the last two seasons now. But with a new manager at the City Ground, and no new major signings imminent for Forest, Lansbury might just be more tempted by a move to Turf Moor this time around - especially with the prospect of Premier League football at Burnley. Entering his prime at 25, Burnley could re-visit a deal for the ex-Arsenal man that has eluded them in recent times.
Nottingham Forest's Henri Lansbury
2. Oliver Norwood
The 25 year old Northern Irishman was one of the most consistent performers in a decidedly inconsistent Reading team last season. With Jaap Stam's intended re-vamp of the Royals underway, would Reading be willing to cash in on their star man? Another player who impressed at this summer's Euros, Norwood's distribution could enhance Burnley's attacking talent.
Reading's Oliver Norwood
3. Tom Carroll
Whether or not Burnley would be willing to pay a suitable fee to bring Carroll to Turf Moor on a permanent basis remains to be seen, but the young Englishman would still be a smart acquisition on loan.
At 24, Carroll already has plenty of Premier League experience, with Tottenham Hotspur and on loan at Swansea. Given a run of games, Carroll could become a key part of the Burnley side, but would need to add goals to his game.
Tottenham's Tom Carroll in action
4. Craig Bryson
Bryson is an experienced campaigner in the Championship with Derby, and is used to making plenty of appearances for the Rams. But the 29-year-old Scot spent the majority of last season on the treatment table due to injury, and if Burnley are unable to pull off the transfer of Jeff Hendrick, a move for Bryson could be on the cards as Derby have plenty of high quality central midfielders at their disposal. A gamble, with the player only recently having recovered from his injury, but the box-to-box midfielder would likely be available for a lower price than Hendrick, and might be the next best option.
Derby's Craig Bryson
5. Mathieu Flamini
Mathieu Flamini is a less obvious choice to plug the gap left by Barton in Burnley's midfield. But at 32, Flamini has made it clear that he intends to continue to play at the top level for a while yet. He may not have the ability to cover the pitch like he used to in his first spell at Arsenal, but is still extremely adept at retaining the ball for his team. He's available on a free transfer, and boasts a wealth of experience from not just the Premier League but from other top leagues around Europe. If partnered with an energetic midfielder, Flamini could do a very efficient job of protecting Burnley's back four this season.
Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini in action
Each of these players could do an admirable job at replacing Joey Barton in Burnley's line-up for the coming Premier League season.
Whilst the club may still miss his character and antics off the field, Barton can be replaced on the field, and some of them at a potentially very reasonable price, something that would please Sean Dyche and the notoriously careful Burnley board. But Burnley fans can be sure that if the club do select the right man to replace Joey Barton for this coming season, then it will go a long way to ensuring their survival in the Premier League.