Burnley boss Sean Dyche not concerned at prospect of playing two left-footed centre backs

Ben Gibson
Ben Gibson

Pep Guardiola said last season, when praising Aymeric Laporte: "It’s so important to have a left (footed) central defender."

On Saturday, Burnley had two, in skipper Ben Mee and Ben Gibson.

And that pair could continue, moving forward, depending on whether the club can hold on to James Tarkowski as the transfer deadline looms.

World Cup-winning France coach Didier Deschamps isn't a fan of two lefties paired together, hence Laporte's struggle to break into the squad, saying: "If you tell me he must be in (Marseille centre back Adil) Rami's place, then I stop you right away. Sorry, but two left-footed defenders at centre-back at international level..."

It often seems that managers and fans share Deschamps' concerns over playing two left-footed centre backs, but Sean Dyche doesn't fall into that category.

Mee and Gibson kept a clean sheet against Parma in Burnley's final pre-season game, with Gibson playing on the right of the two, pinging raking passes out to Charlie Taylor on the left time and again.

And Dyche said: "It is a peculiar thing, I was right footed and I played left, and then two lefties is an unusual combination.

"It didn't look any different I didn't think.

"I thought they both performed well.

"Ben Mee I thought was outstanding, and Gibbo did more than enough to start showing us what he is about."

Gibson had missed the previous three friendly games after rolling his ankle at Port Vale, but proved his fitness against the Serie A side: "He has done brilliantly to get fit because his ankle was quite bad, so that was more of a precaution.

"He is a super fit lad, he wanted to play on, but he is well in front of the curve for that type of injury."