Burnley FC’s foreign failures!

EXPENSIVE FLOP: Besart Berisha
EXPENSIVE FLOP: Besart Berisha
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CLARETS boss Eddie Howe talks in today’s Express Sport about broadening horizons and expending ths search for players abroad.

It is an admirable move, and one, as he mentions, that can be fraught with problems - competition for promising talent, players’ adaptability to the 100 mile-an-hour British game and a different way of life.

FLOP: Marco Gentile

FLOP: Marco Gentile

So it has often proved as regards overseas players and their impact at Burnley.

While the domestic transfer market is inflated and overpriced, value for money can be had outside the British Isles.

The Premier League and Championship are flooded with foreign talent, but Turf Moor while boasting something of a league of nations, has a long list of foreign failures.

High up the list are two Dutchmen - Marco Gentile and Remco van der Schaaf.

Gentile, nephew of Italian great Claudio, was signed on a Bosman free by Adrian Heath from MVV Maastricht - only for Heath to leave for the assistant manager’s job at former club Everton.

Chris Waddle was not so impressed in a player described by Ruud Gullit as one of the best uncapped Dutch players of the time, and he duly made one appearance, in a dead rubber of a League Cup second leg tie against Stoke, before returning to Holland and Volendam.

Van der Schaaf was as big a disaster.

Owen Coyle beat off interest from Cardiff City to land the midfielder from Vitesse Arnhem - a player who had Champions League experience under Guus Hiddink no less at PSV.

His Burnley career lasted all of 59 minutes of his debut in the 4-1 opening day defeat at Sheffield Wednesday in August 2008.

He spent most of his three-year contract on loan with Brondby.

Coyle was also responsible for the likes of Diego Penny and Fernando Guerrero - South Americans who made little impact at the club.

Penny made just two starts and two substitute appearances after arriving from Peruvian side Coronel Bolognesi, before returning home.

Ecuadorian winger Guerrero arrived from Independiente del Valle on loan at the start of the Premier League season, started two League Cup games and made seven substitute appearances in the league before Brian Laws sent him home.

Say no more about Frederic Nimani and Amadou Sanokho.

Besart Berisha was a famous flop - although not entirely his own fault, having picked up a cruciate knee ligament injury shortly after the Albanian moved from Hamburg to Burnley in the summer of 2007, having impressed against England B at Turf Moor.

He never made a competitive appearance for the club.

Hungarian Gabor Kiraly had a fleeting battle with Brian Jensen - one of the successes - before moving on, while American Danny Karbassiyoon was hit by injury.

Australians Mark Robertson and loan defender Doug Hodgson had little impact.

There have also been the likes of Norwegian Frank Peter Kval, whose only appearance was the 3-2 FA Cup defeat against Darlington in 1998, and fellow countryman Rune Vindheim, who made 10 starts and scored twice in a fleeting Burnley career, as well as Italian keeper Luigi Cennamo - who featured as a substitute for Nik Michopoulos in the FA Cup loss at Cheltenham in 2002 - and Dimi Papadopoulos, who had little impact at Turf Moor, but went on to win a Euro 2004 winners’ medal with Greece.

Michopoulos was one of the success stories, as, briefly, was Arthur Gnohere, while Joey Gudjonsson will be fondly remembered for his role in promotion to the Premier League, despite leaving under a cloud.

Current Claret Andre Bikey is another who comes out with credit, while Guinea left back Mo Camara also had relative success, before joining Celtic on a free, as did Drissa Diallo, Eric Djemba-Djemba, John Guidetti, Jean-Louis Valois and Stan Varga.