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For the second successive summer, Burnley have swooped to sign a goalkeeper from manager Vincent Kompany’s former club Manchester City with the capture of England under-21 international James Trafford.

Cumbrian Trafford moved to Manchester City eight years ago having previously been in the centre of excellence at Carlisle and has come through the junior teams at City although he hasn’t made a first team debut for them.

His first game at first team level came in League One in August 2021 when he lined up for Accrington at Wycombe having joined Accrington on loan. He played eleven times for Accrington; his last game came in November before he moved to Bolton for the second half of the season where he added a further 22 games.

Last season he returned to Bolton for the entire season and played in all but the last of their league games and keeping 22 clean sheets. He also enjoyed a day at Wembley where they beat League One champions Plymouth 4-0 in the Papa John’s final. He was close to ending his time with another Wembley appearance but they were beaten by Barnsley in the play-off semi-finals, thus his final game for Bolton coming in the second leg of that tie at Oakwell.

He’s now played a total of 78 league games for Accrington and Bolton in League One and that’s a really good total for a player so young. He’s also won international recognition having played for England at every level from under-17 upwards and has just made a big name for himself in the U21 European Championships that England won with a 1-0 win in the final against Spain. Playing behind last season’s loan defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis who captained the side, Trafford became the star, keeping a clean sheet in every game up to the final.

Described by the Channel 4 team, somewhat prematurely, as Burnley’s new goalkeeper, ahead of kick off, he kept another clean sheet in the final and that required him to save a penalty deep into stoppage time to become the hero of the hour. It wasn’t just the penalty save either, he was quick to respond to the rebound with another excellent save and was then lost underneath a pile of celebrating team mates soon after at the final whistle.

His performances in the tournament were capped when he was named in the official team of the tournament, one of three Manchester City players alongside Sergio Gomez, who was in the Spain team, and Harwood Bellis,

Most of our goalkeepers since the 1960s, in fact all of our regular goalkeepers, have come in from other clubs but I would think for us to splash out to such an extent is probably comparable only with the capture of Alan Stevenson way back in early 1972 when he arrived for a fee of £50,000 the second highest we’d paid at that time for any player. Trafford is now a Burnley player having signed a four-year deal. Much has been speculated about the fee and details of the deal, it ranging from anything between £15 and £20 million including add-ons, with City potentially having a sell on clause and/or even a buy back option. That is all speculation with the details of the move as ever at Burnley remaining undisclosed but he is now considered to be the third most expensive English goalkeeper ever behind Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pickford cost Everton an initial £25 million, rising to £30 million while Ramsdale’s fee was reported at £30 million.

Trafford said on completing his move: “I feel very happy to officially be a Burnley player, I was excited for it to all get done whilst the Euros was going on, I knew a lot about it and I was waiting to get back to make it all official really. I want to improve and learn as much as I can here and as a team, I just want to take it a day at a time and try and achieve as much as we can going forward.”

Manager Vincent Kompany added: “We’ve signed an extremely talented young man. More than just a talent he’s a great character. James is a very impressive, confident mature young man. Most people have seen what he’s achieved in his career so far and his level of talent. We’re looking forward to developing that even further. Making him even better. He’s done so much all ready and what excites us is how far he can go.”

We wish James the very best with the Clarets.

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