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1718 burnley aaron lennon 01 1000x500Burnley have confirmed the signing of Aaron Lennon with the former Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur having joined us from Everton for an undisclosed sum.

We’ve signed a winger of some repute, a player who has represented England at full international level on no fewer than 21 occasions and a player who has a wealth of Premier League experience which began back in 2003 when he was aged just 16.

It was August 2003 at White Hart Lane, a ground that eventually became home for a decade, in a then named Premiership game against Tottenham Hotspur. Lennon came on as a substitute for Mark Viduka and just a few minutes later his new team mate Dean Marney stepped onto the same pitch, replacing Mauricio Taricco for his first home Premiership appearance.

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Lennon made numerous substitute appearances, and got a start in the League Cup, but by the time he made his first league start Leeds had dropped into the Championship. That start was against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and he opened the scoring in a 3-2 win for Leeds.

By then he’d made his first appearance against  Burnley in that remarkable game at Elland Road when Steve Cotterill’s team came from behind to win 2-1 with goals from Lee Roche and Richard Duffy. On a brilliant night for Burnley, Lennon played the last quarter of the game having come on for Clarke Carlisle. Later that season he was in the Leeds team that won 1-0 at Burnley in Lennon’s first Turf Moor appearance.

He was only 18, but it was inevitable that he would have to move on from Leeds because of their financial problems, and the summer of 2005 saw him involved in the first of his three transfers when he signed for Spurs for just £1 million.

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That kicked off an almost ten year stay at White Hart Lane. He got an early debut for them as a substitute against Chelsea but was soon in the starting eleven; his first start came in a 0-0 home draw against Liverpool.

Such was his form that he won nominations for the PFA Young Player of the Year in each of his first two seasons at Tottenham; the players who beat him to those titles were Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite missing out on that award, Lennon won both the young player of the year and player of the year awards at Tottenham.

Such was his form for Spurs that he was called up for England and made his full debut in the summer of 2006. He went on to win a total of 21 caps for his country including two starts in the 2010 World Cup Finals.

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Whilst at Spurs, as at Leeds, he twice played against us. He was in the team when we lost 5-0 at White Hart Lane in 2009, playing all but the last five minutes when he was replaced by substitute Gareth Bale. He played the whole game when we beat them 4-2 on the final day of that season.

His next appearance against us was during his loan at Everton in the second half of the 2014/15 season. His form during the loan saw Everton pay £4 million for him just before the next window closed.

By last summer he was no longer a regular at Goodison Park and in the final few days of the transfer window it became apparent that Burnley were keen to sign him. He had certainly been seen at Gawthorpe and as we went into the last day there was belief that he would be signing a deal at Turf Moor. It didn’t happen, he remained at Everton and has played a number of games for them this season, his last as a substitute in the 4-0 drubbing against Spurs just over a week ago.

But today, almost three years since he made his Everton debut, he has become a Burnley player. He brings a wealth of experience to Turf Moor having played a total of 370 career league games with 343 of those coming in the Premier League.

He becomes the fourth player in post-war football to make a permanent move from Goodison Park to Turf Moor. The other three? All England internationals – Keith Newton, Martin Dobson and Paul Gascoigne.

I think this is a terrific signing and one that really does highlight the progress the club has made in the last few years. Bringing a Lennon from Liverpool – Imagine.

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