Three Most Underrated Burnley Players This Season
Burnley have had a rock-solid season, with the only wrong thing being that they are stuck in a kind of no man’s land, i.e. they would be praised for scrapping at the bottom end and escaping relegation and likewise but be lauded for reaching Europe but neither is happening.
The Clarets are 7 points above 11th place and are certain of a top half finish but are 13 away from a European place and I fear they won’t truly get the recognition they deserve after this campaign is done.
Sean Dyche doesn’t really have superstars and so they are all somewhat underrated but here are the three I feel, in particular, need more of a pat on the back:
I wouldn’t usually throw in a player who has played only 9 times but in those appearances, the 27-year-old has looked every inch a top half Premier League player and yet, most people don’t even know who he is!
In terms of overall ratings, he sits behind only James Tarkowski in this squad (part of the reason he doesn’t get many games in fact) and when it comes to Burnley’s away performance, nobody has rated higher than Long, on average.
Also, consider that in the 9 games Long has played, Burnley have lost only 2 – to Tottenham Hotspur and away to a bang in form Swansea City. Nobody clears the ball in a game more than Long on averages.
A player who has been around a while but still isn’t thought of among the Premier League’s big names, Hendrick’s contribution cannot be overlooked and it’s his passing I’m focussing on.
In a team which doesn’t waste time with short, tippy-tappy passes, the pass completion rate is always going to be low, so looking at Hendrick’s figure of 80%, I’m very impressed. A part of the battle for Burnley is not giving the ball away and nobody in this side is better at keeping it than Hendrick.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson
Burnley survive on strong tackling to win the ball back and on cool finishing to make the most of what chances they get in a game. With chances at a premium, they have to create something as soon as they get the ball.
Consider then that the average key passes per game for their players tends to run from 0.6 to 0.8 and then suddenly jumps to 1.7 in the case of Gudmundsson, you can see how valuable he has been.