Clarets boss Sean Dyche believes Joey Barton will be a good fit at Turf Moor.
The 32-year-old has signed a one-year deal at Burnley, but while there will be some misgivings about his arrival, Barton has twice been convicted on charges of violence, serving 77 days of a six-month sentence for common assault and affray in 2008, while in July that year he was given a four-month suspended sentence after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on former Manchester City teammate Ousmane Dabo .
There have been a number of other indiscretions on and off the pitch, but Dyche has few concerns:
“I was chatting to someone about him and they said ‘how would you handle him’. I said ‘I wouldn’t handle him, he’s 32 he’s not 18, he’s not a kid’, I’d just advise him in what I think is appropriate, and that’s the way I see someone like him.
“He’s bright enough and rounded enough with the ups, downs, ins and outs of football, and he’s a very good player.
“That’s why he has got suitors and he was quite strong on being suited to us so we said we’d have some conversations over the summer.”
Dyche feels the midfielder will be a big asset in Burnley’s bid to return to the Premier League, having helped Newcastle United and QPR win promotion: “It’s something that we’ve spoken about and something I’ve thought about; different circumstances, different fit, different types, what makes a team tick. That’s part of it.
“There’s a strong desire for him to work with myself and what we do here. He’s well aware of that from the outside and he’s spoken through the media what he’s thought about the club and how we’ve gone about it and how we attempted to remain in the Premier League and how we got to the Premier League.
“He’s always been very positive.
“At the end of the season when he was out of contract there was a conversation and he made it clear he respected what we’d done here and would be interested in that.”
Joey’s someone I’ve spoken to for eight weeks. He’s someone who I know a little bit aboutSean Dyche
Having been without a club over the summer, Barton will need time to get up to speed in terms of fitness, but with an international break to follow Saturday’s trip to Bristol City, Dyche said: “I’m sure there would be work to be done, but I think everyone would know that fitness has certainly not been an issue down his career, as in covering a distance, working hard, that sort of thing.
“People obviously look at all the rest of his life, but if you look at his stats and how he’s played and who he’s played for and the level he’s played at, he certainly knows how the business works on the pitch, that’s for sure.”