Why Burnley Will Greatly Benefit By Signing Shay Given
Burnley are set to make a surprising swoop for goalkeeper Shay Given, who is a free agent after he was released by fellow Premier League outfit Stoke City, following the expiry of his contract with the club, according to the Sun.
The 41-year old veteran has been training with non-league outfit Macclesfield Town in the close season and recently revealed in an interview with talkSport that he would like to continue playing at the top level for another season. He had said:
“I ‘d like to play another season if the offer is there, Alan [Brazil]. But obviously, if it’s not, I’ll probably call it a day. I still feel fit, I still feel good….hopefully something will be out there.”
The Clarets boss Sean Dyche could offer him a return to the Premier League ahead of next season. The Lancashire based club have had a decent summer so far, having brought in Jon Walters from Stoke City, Jack Cork from Swansea City and former Leeds United full-back Charlie Taylor. And if Dyche gets his wishes, Given could turn out to be the club’s fourth summer signing.
Burnley have a top quality shot-stopper in captain Tom Heaton and in Nick Pope, they have a decent alternative. However, their third goalkeeper, the experienced Paul Robinson hung up his boots earlier this week, leaving a vacant spot in the roster. While it could have been an opportunity for Dyche to promote someone young from the academy ranks, he seems to be intent on bringing Given into the fold.
Given joined Stoke in the summer of 2015 for free, as a backup to first-choice Jack Butland. But he hardly played for the Potters. He made only 5 appearances in his first season with the club and managed just 6 in the 2016/17 season, 5 of which came in the league, conceding 14 goals.
The 41-year old has plied his trade for a staggering 23 seasons in the Premier League between 1994 and 2017, starting off with Blackburn Rovers, then with Newcastle United, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Stoke City. A veteran of 451 Premier League games, the experience that he has accumulated over the years is invaluable. Given has also represented the Republic of Ireland on 134 occasions and is the second most capped player for the country, next only to Robbie Keane.
While it is unlikely that Given will get many opportunities to play, if he signs for Burnley, just the presence of such a reputed and seasoned figure on the training pitch and in the dressing room will have a great impact on the young players in the team, which will make him a valuable asset to have in the ranks. He will add nicely to the Irish contingent of players that Dyche seems to building at the club. The 41-year old may not turn out to be a signing that will please the fans greatly, but will bring in a lot of value and experience to the team.