Chelsea's new signing, Leeds United star and the three stunning Burnley signings that got away

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2020-03-25 01:38:03
Chelsea's new signing, Leeds United star and the three stunning Burnley signings that got away

The Clarets nearly signings include a future Premier League winner, Champions League star and Leeds United key man

have unearthed some real gems in the transfer market in recent times.

Under Sean Dyche the Clarets have had a superb track record in plucking players from the Championship and converting them into the Premier League quality.

The likes of James Tarkowski, Nick Pope and Charlie Taylor are just three examples and two of those have gone on to earn England caps.

Josh Brownhill will hope to follow the pattern over the coming years having joined from Bristol City in January.

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Eddie Howe also signed some quality - Kieran Trippier and Ben Mee to name two.

But over the last decade there have been three big name players who nearly came to Turf Moor. but the deal didn't get over the line.

The midfielder played a key role in a Chelsea side that dominated English football under Jose Mourinho but he could have been a Claret.

In 1999 the Ghanian arrived at Turf Moor for a trial and, having impressed in the Under-17 World Cup, was available on a free transfer.

But the wage structure at the Clarets prevented the club going beyond £60 a week for apprentices.

In the end Essien went to French side Bastia and then Lyon before setting Chelsea back £24million in 2005.

Former Clarets chairman Brendan Flood, in an interview with The People in 2009, said: “I discovered Michael Essien had been on trial here for a few days.

"One of the best players in the World Cup – and we hadn’t signed him.

“The club policy meant we wouldn’t pay an apprentice more than 60 quid a week. It smacked me in the face that the problem was a lack of communication within the club that stopped our youth guys making an exception to the rule.”

The playmaker will be turning out for Chelsea next season but in 2016 it was in the Morocco international.

The Clarets were keen on the then 23-year-old, then playing for FC Twente, and were prepared to break their club record, which at that time was the £10million spent on Jeff Hendrick, to bring him over to England.

But Ziyech opted to stay in Holland and signed for Ajax for around €11million.

He played a starring role as the club reached the semi-finals of last season's Champions League and will join Chelsea for £38million.

Speaking in 2016, Clarets chairman Mike Garlick, who had spent big on Steven Defour and then Hendrick, said: "We were also happy to do it (break the club record) a third time for a Dutch player who, in the end, opted to go elsewhere."

Burnley have made a habit of plucking players from Leeds United in recent seasons.

Taylor, Chris Wood and Bailey Peacock-Farrell have all made the journey across the Pennines and last summer the Clarets were hoping Kalvin Phillips would be the latest man to make the switch.

Burnley were interested in the midfielder, arguably the best player in the Championship, but despite showing an interest a deal couldn't be done with Leeds standing firm.

Clarets chairman Mike Garlick, , said of attempts to break their club record: "We went in for a player with a straight offer of £20million including add-ons.

"They didn't want to sell but there were a lot of clubs in for him but I think we put the highest offer in so it is not like we are not competing at that level for the top young talent, but it is still a lot of money."

Source: Football/Soccer News Online

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