Despite having to borrow some boots, Tendayi Darikwa got his Burnley career on the right footing.
The 23-year-old signed for the Clarets on Thursday from Chesterfield for a fee in the region of £600,000, but had travelled north without his boots.
He trained in a borrowed pair on Friday, before going back for his favourite pair, and he impressed on his debut against Bradford City at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Darikwa said: “I trained on Friday for the first time and I didn’t have my boots!
“The first session could have gone horribly wrong but I borrowed some – they weren’t too bad, they were some brand new adidas ones!
“I’m just grateful to the club for looking after me the way they have. Thankfully I managed to get back home and get my stuff and played on Saturday, which I’m pleased about. It happened very quickly. I came up on Wednesday evening, the manager had a few meetings on Thursday, so I was in the town for a while but I got the deal over the line on Thursday night and trained on Friday.”
The fans gave me a warm welcome and I’m grateful for thatTendeyi Darikwa
Darikwa, once a target for David Moyes at Manchester United, was an instant hit with the Burnley fans, composed in possession, linking well with George Boyd down the right, and putting over a string of inviting crosses, and he smiled: “I loved it. It was my first time playing at the stadium but the fans gave me a warm welcome and I’m grateful for that.”
Burnley beat Lancashire rivals Preston North End to his signature, but Darikwa admitted: “I don’t want to talk about other clubs.
“I’m happy to be at the football club now and the club have given me the opportunity to play in the Championship and hopefully I can repay that with some more performances like Saturday.
“After speaking to the manager and the board members it was a no-brainer to try to help the club get back to the Premier League. I think that’s where we belong.
“I’ve plied my trade in League Two and League One and I feel like I’m ready for the step up. But obviously I’ve a lot to learn.
“Hopefully the management staff and the players can help me improve quickly and hopefully I can play in the team.
“There are some experienced players and a lot of the squad we’ve got now played in the Premier League last season so I’m sure I’ll learn very quickly and break into the team as soon as possible.”