Burnley keen to tap into overseas market, insists chairman Alan Pace

The overseas market is an area Burnley chairman Alan Pace is eager to tap into.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 7:00 am

The Clarets have tended to focus their recruitment on signings who have played their football in England, with limited success in terms of bringing players in from abroad.

While the club has European footballers on their books, in Erik Pieters (Netherlands), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland) and Matej Vydra (Czech Republic), and Chris Wood is a New Zealand international, all four were signed from clubs in this country, with Belgian midfielder Steven Defour the last senior player signed from the continent, joining from Anderlecht in 2016.

The Clarets haven't had a great success rate in terms of foreign signings, with a string of players who struggled to make an impact - Jelle Vossen, Rouwen Hennings, Fredrik Ulvestad, Dane Richards, Diego Penny, Fernando Guerrero, Frederic Nimani, Remco van der Schaaf and Besart Berisha leading a long list over the last 15 years or so.

However, Burnley continue to work hard on a deal for Lyon's Ivory Coast international Maxwel Cornet, who can play anywhere down the left flank, and Pace would like to improve the club's strike rate outside these shores: "It is definitely in the thinking.

"I think there is a lot of misconceptions about us as an organisation and a club and what the club was wanting to do, could do, can do and will do.

"Because what you see is an outcome, don't discount the process of what is happening.

"There is a balancing act that has to be done, and that comes in three pieces.

"It can't rock the team in such a way that the person that comes in isn't either productive or helpful to the team achieving their objectives.

"You also have to look at the costing structure of both acquiring and maintaining - the salary side- and then you have to look at both playing style and your ambitions as a club.

"All of those factors come into what we are talking about.

"So somebody throws out a really great player and says 'it would be great to get him from Italy'.

"But it is 'will they really fit in the team, be taken in by the community, work out or is it just a complete punt'.

"So you have to think about that all the way through.

"Do we look at bringing in more talent at a younger level through the Academy? Absolutely.

"Do we look at overseas? Absolutely.

"Do we look at the culture of the club, team and individual? Yes. We absolutely have to.

"But I do think we can be more expansive in our thinking, there will be, I hope, the ability to do that, although Covid hasn't been friendly to any of us on this, and the process just has to continue to evolve.

"We are at the beginning hours of a very long race."