Why Burnley should hold on to Jay Rodriguez amidst Inter Milan interest
According to The Guardian, Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez is the subject of interest from Italian giants Inter Milan, with the 30-year-old high on Nerazzurri manager Antonio Conte’s wishlist as a back up for Romelu Lukaku, who made his move to the San Siro from Man United in the summer transfer window.
Rodriguez returned to his boyhood club Burnley for a fee of £10 million this summer after spending seven seasons at Southampton and West Brom but, if reports are to be believed, the 1-cap England international might be on his way to the Serie A in what would surely be the most lucrative move of his career till date.
The Burnley-born striker netted 35 goals in 126 appearances for Southampton and bagged a further 33 in 90 outings for the Baggies before making a return to his former club this summer.
However, he is yet to start a game for Sean Dyche’s side in the Premier League this term, with the in-form strike partnership of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes forcing him to be content with a place on the bench.
Rodriguez, though, has played cameos as a substitute in each of the Claret’s first seven league fixtures thus far, with the most recent of those resulting in a goal in the 2-2 draw away at Villa Park. The 30-year-old started and scored against Sunderland in the League Cup but that wasn’t enough to prevent a 3-1 defeat.
To put things into perspective, Inter Milan’s interest in Jay Rodriguez looks a bit bizarre on paper, given that he is already 30 and was playing in the Championship last season.
However, if the Serie A giants do, indeed, come calling for his services, Burnley are going to have their work cut out in keeping hold of their former academy product.
The 30-year-old might have struggled to nail down a starting role upon his return just yet but he is very much a key part of Dyche’s plans moving forward.
An industrious and instinctive centre-forward with proven pedigree in the Premier League, Rodriguez is an indispensable component of the Clarets’ strike force and one who suits the manager’s philosophy perfectly.
Plus, Matej Vydra is the only other recognized alternative in Burnley’s ranks, albeit the former Derby County and Watford man has found himself out-of-favour even since his move to Turf Moor last summer.
The Czech Republic international is apparently not the right fit for Dyche’s old-school tactics, which is probably one of the main reasons why Rodriguez was brought in to provide more firepower up top.
Still only 30, the Rodriguez is performing at the peak of his powers and it should be a no-brainer for Burnley to hold on to him at all costs. Agreed, it would be hard to repel interest from a club of Inter Milan’s stature but they should look to keep the Serie A giants at bay by slapping a massive price tag on the striker.
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Suffice to say, the homegrown star is very much central to Burnley’s hopes of securing a top-ten finish in the Premier League and they should leave no stone unturned in their efforts to keep him at the club.