Burnley defender could hit a century against former club

Burnley left back Charlie Taylor is in line to make his 100th Premier League appearance against former club Leeds United at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 10:30 pm
Charlie Taylor

And while boss Sean Dyche is pleased with the York-born defender’s progress in the four years since a £6m switch to East Lancashire, he feels the 27-year-old can improve further, and make Gareth Southgate sit up and take notice.

Taylor has developed a fine understanding with Dwight McNeil down Burnley’s left, but Dyche feels if he can begin to drive forward more often and deliver more balls into the box, he will be a better all-round player for it, and maybe work his way into the England thinking.

Dyche said, when asked how happy he has been with his development: “If he continues playing forwards more, because he’s from an academy system where full backs are told to play backwards constantly.

“So if we can get him playing forwards more, get him running forwards more, then I think he can begin to challenge or certainly be on the radar and around the thinking of the national manager.

“I’m not remotely saying he should be in the team or in the squad, but he should be at least putting himself in the thoughts of the national manager in my opinion.

“When he’s doing the things I’ve just said, then I think he will do.”

And Dyche added: “He’s improving and he continues to do so.

”He’s had his learning curve and some unfortunate spells out with injury.

“He’s a very powerful defender, very good one v one, and if he plays forwards more and runs forwards more, then he at least can get around the thinking of the national manager in my opinion.”

Taylor could be one of three former Leeds men to face their former club, with Chris Wood and keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell likely to be involved.

And a one-time Clarets loan man Patrick Bamford will be back at Turf Moor, where he failed to make an impact, making only six substitute appearances - a total of 34 minutes’ playing time - in 2016, later admitting: “Me and the boys got on fine but me and Sean Dyche just clashed.

"I could sit down and talk to him now and be civil but we had different ideas of football.

”I didn't get a chance. His team has done great, mind. I can't argue with that.”

Bamford won and scored the penalty in a 1-0 win over Burnley at Elland Road in December, and Dyche feels he has made the most of his potential: “I think he was maturing as a professional and as a player and the different challenges that come.

“He did very well in finding his own way and working through those challenges and he’s delivered without a doubt.

“When you get to the level that Premier League clubs are looking at you, you have to have ability. You can’t not have ability.

“Then it’s about maximising your ability, whether that’s through yourself, the team around you, the staff around you, it’s about maximising and developing your ability and he’s been able to do that.”