First Hendrick – now Stephens
It’s been an interesting day to say the least with the Clarets reportedly having a bid for Derby County’s Jeff Hendrick turned down to be followed by similar news from Brighton when an offer was rejected for their midfielder Dale Stephens.
For readers of Up the Clarets and the message board posters, news linking us with this these two players shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Back, not much over a week after the end of last season, after the first legs of the play-offs, I wrote in an article: “Two intriguing ones (links) are players who will not be feeling at their best right now having just lost play-offs this week. Brighton’s Dale Stephens, apparently looking for a move back to the North West, is supposedly on the radar as is Derby’s Jeff Hendrick.
Stephens (pictured), I’ve been aware of since before the end of last season, with strong suggestions that he was a main target. I recall us discussing the possibility of signing him on the way to Charlton and then him being sent off that day after scoring the Brighton goal at Middlesbrough. It was certainly a potential signing that was met with approval.
The reports suggest that Derby have turned down a bid of £3.5 million for Hendrick. I had to laugh when I read Steve Nicholson in the Derby Telegraph suggesting we were “trying it on” with that newspaper since having gathered comments from a handful of Derby fans blasting our offer as insulting.
Mr Nicholson must have a short memory if he doesn’t recall Derby making a derisory offer for Jason Shackell last summer before Burnley won the day with a staggering amount coming our way for the former captain.
As for Stephens, Brighton have now turned down at least two offers from us for him, but I believe it remains the case that he would prefer to move back to the North West, and I do think this could be one of the strongest of links.
Some fans are getting very concerned over the lack of transfer action. One poster, Cleveleys_claret today wrote: “This transfer window is fast becoming a joke. No signings still and stupid bids going in for players.”
I really don’t understand this ‘stupid bids’ suggestion, and it is a comment that comes from many who have the impression that our club is amateurish when we fail with offers for players. I can only imagine these people make initial offers for houses that are so high they are immediately accepted.
I can appreciate a level of frustration, more so after the last two Premier League windows in summer 2014 and January 2015 when we, quite frankly, failed miserably. Without holding anyone responsible for that, we now have a different recruitment team and a different chief executive so the only constant is the manager who will surely be looking to get in the best players possible for another crack at the Premier League.
The squad are now in France for the next few days. Last year, at the same training camp, Matt Lowton was the only newcomer with Jelle Vossen joining them there prior to completing his Turf Moor move.
The club haven’t, this year, released the names of those players going but there are no new signings with Johann Berg Gudmundsson expecting to sign next week on his return from holiday.
Whether he’ll be joined by Hendrick or Stephens or both remains to be seen, but, until there are new signings, the frustration levels will continue to rise.Share this page :