More news on ex-Clarets as retained lists are announced
Four former Burnley players ended the season playing in League One with Port Vale and Southend United and there could be an uncertain future for all four of them.
Luke O’Neill and Zavon Hines ended the season with Southend who just missed out on a play-off place, but both have found themselves surplus to requirements at the end of their contracts.
O’Neill originally joined Southend in January 2014 on loan but suffered a bad injury in his first game which brought his season to an end. After further loans during the following season at Scunthorpe and Leyton Orient, he returned to Roots Hall on a permanent basis at the end of the summer transfer window in 2015.
Manager Phil Brown had targeted him to fill the right-back slot but he went on to make only 31 league appearances in the next two seasons with only 19 of those starts. He scored one goal too, the last goal in a 3-1 home win against Millwall last September.
Hines has also been released after joining them on a half season contract. He suffered a cruciate ligament injury while at Dagenham & Redbridge in February 2014. He didn’t play again until getting a handful of games at the start of the 2015/16 season but hadn’t played a game in 15 months when he joined Southend. He made just five substitute appearances for them totalling less than 80 minutes.
Port Vale, meanwhile, have been relegated to League Two but Michael Brown, who has just taken over as manager on a permanent basis, would like to keep his two ex-Clarets Andre Bikey (pictured) and Chris Eagles but fears he won’t be able to keep either.
The situation with Eagles is a simple one in that the player has had an offer from League One and is likely to take that. He signed for Port Vale in the last window having struggled to get much football at Accrington in the first half of the season.
But he had a successful time at Vale Park, scoring four times in twenty league appearances. Although one of them was in a two goal win, two of the others were in one goal victories with the other in a draw and it is that sort of impact that Brown wants to keep next season.
He’d also like to be able to call on Bikey but with him it is injuries that are an issue. He signed a short term deal in March and made seven league appearances. They have offered him a new deal which is heavily based on games played due to a previous thigh injury. Brown believes it could prove to be a stumbling block.
Brown explained: “The issue we have with Andre, it’s not rocket science, it is how many games can he play. The fitness is a big issue after he was injured. We have to be mindful of that, giving a contract that we don’t see being fulfilled. So we have to be careful injury wise. We have to look at that. As a player it is not always as attractive as it can be. We need to look at it with an incentivised game related contract, and maybe he doesn’t want to do that.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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