Burnley would be very wise to offload flop duo and sign 6ft 3in giant instead – would benefit Barnes and Wood

Burnley opinion: Should Burnley sign Khouma Babacar

On paper, Burnley have an abundance of strikers, with the likes of Mark Wood, Ashley Barnes, Matej Vydra and January signing Peter Crouch in their ranks.

Barnes and Wood have scored a combined 16 goals so far in the Premier League, which is a decent output for a team trying to stay up in the Premier League.

Burnley, despite being 16th in the league, are a brilliant side under a brilliant manager. Having finished 7th last season, the Clarets should be consistently aiming for a finish in the top half of the Premier League table and that requires serious firepower up front.

Sean Dyche should offload Vydra and Crouch in the summer and sign Khouma Babacar from Sassuolo.

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Babacar has been decent for Sassuolo this campaign and is their top scorer with 6 goals. Although the numbers make him look average, the Senegalese is an incredible talent and on his day, is unstoppable.

Standing at 6ft 3in, Babacar on first look might seem to be a regular target man but his performances have shown that he is much more than that.

The 25-year old relies more on the technical side of his game rather than his physique and is a keen dribbler of the ball who enjoys taking defenders on.

In some ways, Babacar is similar to Mario Balotelli but unlike the Italian, he is a calm presence on the pitch. Babacar is often seen trying outrageous flicks to find his teammates and although it doesn’t always come off, it takes three or four players completely out of the game when it clicks.

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His aerial duel average of 1.1 seems bad considering his 6ft 3in frame but it is completely down to Sasuolo’s style of play. Babacar’s team very rarely punt balls into a target man, as their style of play is dependent on short ground passes to open up space.

The Senegalese has a thunderous right foot and is capable of blasting long rangers accurately. Like Balotelli, Babacar is impulsive in his shots and has scored worldies from angles that don’t usually favour a right footer.

His composure in front of goal is also commendable, especially his decision-making when under pressure. Babacar, unlike most strikers, is very unselfish and always looks for a teammate in a better position in goal-scoring situations.


Burnley need to get back to the level of last season and for that, Sean Dyche needs to open his cheque book. The Burnley boss has been fortunate with his two strikers whose end product has been good but a progressing team like Burnley need more options and Khouma Babacar fits that role well.

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The former Fiorentina man’s ability to play with or in place of Barnes and Wood opens up a whole new avenue for Dyche.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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