Burnley are in an ideal position to progress this summer

Sean Dyche, Managers of Burnley hows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match between Burnley and AFC Bournemouth at Turf Moor on May 13, 2018 in Burnley, England.

Burnley's Premier League exploits this season were fantastic - and they might be able to do even better next year.

Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley applauds the crowd prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion at Turf Moor on April 28, 2018 in Burnley, England.

Burnley's seventh-place finish last season was extraordinary - no one saw Sean Dyche's side being the closest anyone would come to breaking into the top six.

Europa League football now beckons for the team and while they aren't the first 'small' team to head out on this venture, they are possibly the best positioned.

Players of Burnley enjoys the lap of honour after the Premier League match between Burnley and AFC Bournemouth at Turf Moor on May 13, 2018 in Burnley, England.

There are three 'smaller' clubs in recent history who managed to secure European football after successful seasons - West Ham United, Southampton, and Leicester City.

West Ham secured a Europa League finish in the 15/16 season under Slaven Bilic but they were performances built around their superstar player Dmitri Payet - he left six months later and they haven't been close to the same since.

Dimitri Payet of West Ham United celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the  EFL Cup Third Round match between West Ham United and Accrington Stanley at the London Stadium on...

Similarly, Leicester's sensational progress in their title-winning season was halted after the sale of key player N'golo Kane and an apparent lack of authority from Claudio Ranieri. The Italian had only had a year in charge, after all, and didn't appear to have the club or the dressing room behind him.

And then there's Southampton, a team who held onto that spot outside of the top six for a few years but were never able to push on. It's easy to see why, of course, as they consistently sold their best players, leaving them fighting just to stand still until they ultimately fell.

Sadio Mane of Southampton celebrate as he scores his third goal and his team's fourth during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester City at St Mary's Stadium...

The lack of any real interest in Burnley's players is, therefore, very helpful. The only major player to be linked away is James Tarkowski and even those have been few and far between. Similarly, Dyche has undoubted control of the team building them into more than the sum of their parts.

As such, this isn't a team that should face difficulties building and finding progress this summer; Burnley's major strength last season - their team ethic - should also be their major strength going forward.

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