Clarets boss Sean Dyche is already drawing up his January transfer plans as he looks to strengthen his options for the second half of the Premier League season.
Dyche brought in 10 players over the summer, spending in the region of £8m on George Boyd, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Michael Kightly, Marvin Sordell, Stephen Ward, with Matt Taylor, Matt Gilks and Steven Reid arriving on free transfers, and Nathaniel Chalobah and Michael Keane on loan.
While many expected more to be lavished on players, that figure was more than Aston Villa and Stoke City spent, and the 14th-highest net spend in the division.
And Dyche is eager to further improve his first team, after upgrading his squad: “We’ve brought in players we think can demand and challenge. But we also want to bring in players that, it’s fair to say, it can almost be a given they will improve you.”
The only problem, however, is the ever-growing transfer market, which hindered Burnley’s summer recruitment, with the likes of Troy Deeney, Henri Lansbury, Craig Dawson, James McArthur and Craig Bryson either priced out of moves, not for sale, or unwilling to make the switch.
Dyche said: “The numbers were unbelievable for a Championship players we went in for in the summer, top end, earning unbelievable money, way more than we pay in the Premier League, and their clubs are far richer, usually because of the owners, asking for astronomical fees.
“A little bit more wasn’t enough, trust me, you’re not talking about adding a million or two, it’s tens of millions.
“There are three players we were in for, in the Championship, and over £20m was expected for those three.
“Only one had played in the Premier League!”
He added: “You’re stuck in a very awkward predicament, if someone offered £50m in fees, you need the support base for those wages. If you’re carrying those for three to four years, it can end in real trouble.
“Last year we had to sell Charlie Austin.
“That’s one year ago, and now we have the chance to not be in that position for many years as long as things are used wisely.”