Why Josh Brownhill could add that X-Factor to Burnley’s midfield
According to the Daily Mail, Burnley have been linked with a move for Bristol City star Josh Brownhill, with Sean Dyche keen to bolster his midfield options during the mid-season trading period in January.
The Clarets have also set their sights on Chelsea starlet Connor Gallagher, who has starred on loan at Charlton Atheltic in the Championship, as a potential option to add more depth and quality to their options in the middle of the park. (h/t Daily Mail)
As per the report, Dyche is on the lookout for a new central midfielder in January after Chelsea loanee Danny Drinkwater’s disappointing impact at Turf Moor. Brownhill and Gallagher are amongst the Championship stars to have caught the eye of the club’s scouting team.
Brownhill has been in terrific form for the Robins in the Championship this season and has been one of the key driving forces behind the club’s surge for promotion in the second-tier. The 24-year-old has started each of Bristol City’s 23 games in the Championship so far, chipping in with 5 goals and 2 assists in the process.
Having featured for Warrington Town and Man United at the youth level, Brownhill turned professional with Preston North End in the third-tier before earning a move to the Championship with Bristol City back in 2016.
Brownhill hasn’t looked back ever since and has gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the English second-tier.
The 24-year-old has accumulated an impressive tally of 17 goals and 12 assists in 155 appearances for the Robins in all competitions so far.
However, it remains to be seen whether Bristol City would be willing to part ways with Brownhill, who still has a contract at Turf Moor until 2021. The Warrington-born star is one of the club’s most influential outlets in the midfield and the Robins would be wise to think twice before sanctioning his departure midway through the campaign.
Meanwhile, a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday ensured that Burnley went into Christmas placed 10th in the Premier League standings after picking up 7 wins in 18 games so far.
The Clarets look set for another comfortable mid-table finish in the Premier League after an impressive first-half of the campaign but the arrival of a few fresh faces in January could hold the key to Burnley aiming for greater heights.
The strike pairing of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes has worked very well in tandems with wing wizard Dwight McNeil in the attacking third while the centre-back partnership of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski has continued to flourish.
The Clarets seem to have enough depth at both ends of the pitch but Dyche’s idea of bringing in some reinforcements to bolster the midfield makes sense for a number of reasons.
In Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood, Burnley have two experienced defensive midfielders in their ranks, with Jeff Hendrick being the man tasked with a more advanced No.8 role behind the striker.
With that in mind, however, Burnley currently do not have much depth in that box-to-box role in the middle of the park beyond Hendrick, who is out of contract at Turf Moor in the summer of 2020.
Moreover, the Clarets have often found themselves bereft of ideas in the midfield and adding some kind of a cutting-edge could inject a lot more dynamism and creativity to Burnley’s overall gameplay in the Premier League.
To put things into perspective, Josh Brownhill looks like an excellent option in the right age bracket to come through the door at Turf Moor.
As per whoscored, Brownhill has averaged 1.7 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.5 clearances, 1.3 key passes, 1.8 aerial duels, 1.3 key passes, 1 cross and 2.5 long balls per game in the Championship this season to go along with a pass success rate of 79.9%.
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All in all, Josh Brownhill to Burnley in January seems to have all the makings of a blockbuster move.