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1920 burnley jay rodriguez signs 1000x500Seven years after leaving Burnley for Southampton, Jay Rodriguez has returned after the Clarets today signed him from West Bromwich Albion on a two year deal with an option for a third year.

This deal won’t come as too much of a surprise to most Burnley fans. There was speculation two summers ago that we were keen to sign him but on that occasion he opted to move from Southampton to West Brom. A year ago, following the Baggies’ relegation, he was again the subject of much speculation with us, reportedly, having made offers for him.

Despite the warning from many Burnley fans not to try doing business with West Brom – and we have allow the Craig Dawson sagas besides Jay – we have gone back in and we have brought home the local lad who came through the youth system at Turf Moor and went all the way to playing for England and would likely have gone to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but for suffering a ruptured cruciate ligament injury just one week after his former team mate Sam Vokes had suffered the same injury.

He didn’t play at all in the following season as another injury followed and in 2015/16 started just three league games for Southampton and having failed to establish himself under a succession of managers at St. Mary’s it was time to move on. Prior to the cruciate injury he looked set to rejoin Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs but he remained in the Premier League with a move to West Brom.

If anyone dares to suggest that Jay is injury prone, his record at West Brom certainly proves otherwise; in two seasons there he’s featured in 82 of their 84 league games and he’s netted 29 goals.

He’s a player who needs no introduction and his signing will prompt supporters into recalling their favourite Jay Rod moment. There was his first goal against Fulham in the League Cup when all he could do was tell Sky reporters that he was buzzing. There was his superb goal against Nottingham Forest later that season and that wonderful goal in the home game against Peterborough in 2012.

His last appearance for the Clarets was as a substitute on the final day of the 2011/12 season when he came on for Ross Wallace while his last start had come in March at Ipswich. I checked the team that day and we lined up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Danny Lafferty (Ben Mee 53), Junior Stanislas, Marvin Bartley, Dean Marney (Ross Wallace 58), Chris McCann, Jay Rodriguez, Charlie Austin (Martin Paterson 59). Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Josh McQuoid. Only Ben Mee from that team is still at Burnley and the only other familiar face will be Kevin Long and Jack Cork who he played alongside here and also at Southampton.

Dwight McNeil has claimed his ‘one of our own chant’ for now, maybe they will have to share it next season with Jay Rod back in a Burnley shirt.

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