Burnley Return to the Premier League as Champions

In what has been one of the most remarkable title run-ins in recent Championship history, Burnley have managed to edge out Middlesbrough and Brighton to win the league and return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Burnley are deserving champions, they have been the most consistent side and they have been the best team overall throughout the season.

Burnley secured the Championship title by beating Charlton 3-0 at The Valley

I think it is fair to say that Burnley would not be in the position they find themselves in now if it was not for the help of their manager, Sean Dyche.

He has experience of getting teams promoted into the Premier League, with Burnley’s promotion campaign to the top flight two years ago, and this familiarity has proved to be the difference for Burnley this season.

With the exception of Danny Ings and Kieren Trippier, they have managed to keep the mould of their squad together from last season, which included players which a mix of quality and experience, who were always likely to be successful in the Championship.

It was surprising to still find Dyche as manager of Burnley this season, as many thought that he would easily find a club in the Premier League who would want to acquire his services.

There is no doubt that Dyche is a top quality manager and you could argue that keeping Dyche at Burnley has been their best piece of business this term.

Sean Dyche has kept the core of Burnley’s squad together

One of Burnley’s key players this season has been Joey Barton. He is an experienced midfielder, who has led from the front for his side this season.

He has an abundance of quality and is too good for the Championship. His ability to battle in the midfield has evidently given Burnley an edge over their opponents all season.

It is vital that Burnley keep a hold of Barton for their returning season to the Premier League. He has years of experience playing in the top flight and this knowledge will be invaluable for Burnley next season.

Since signing from QPR, Barton has been Burnley’s catalyst this term

Andre Gray is another Burnley player who has been vastly impressive this season. The striker joined the club from Championship rivals Brentford last summer. Many onlookers joked when looking at the price tag for Gray, which was £8 million.

But he has unequivocally proved them wrong this campaign. He has been Burnley’s talisman this season, while also being the Championship top scorer, bagging 25 goals in the league.

Andre Gray has a similar rags-to-riches story as Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, as he has climbed the footballing ladder since getting his first regular first team place at Hinckley Town, before joining Luton Town and then Brentford, who had just been promoted to the Championship when he signed for the club.

Gray is going to be a key player for Burnley next season and it is important that he is kept fit, in order to give his side the maximum chance of being successful in the Premier League next season.

Andre Gray has defied the critics at Turf Moor, scoring 25 goals

Whilst defender Michael Keane is a player who has gone under the radar compared to Gray and Barton, he has been equally important to Burnley.

At just 23 years old, he has superbly led the back line of Burnley throughout the season, in doing so he has gained himself numerous admirers from the Premier League.

It is important that Burnley hold firm and keep a hold of Keane, who has the potential to a great success for them next season as they return to the top flight.

The ex-Manchester United defender has led the back line superbly

I do not feel that many changes are needed for Burnley to be successful next season, as all of the foundations are already set in stone for them to be effective next season. Although, an addition of quality in certain areas are necessary.

It is important that they ensure that their squad has a depth of quality with a competition for places, to help with what will be an arduous season.

The newly promoted side may also look to bring in another striker, who could add goals to the side whenever necessary.

This should take the pressure off Andre Gray, who is likely to be their main source of goals next season and it would mean that they are not over-reliant upon him, which could hurt them if he suffers an injury at some point next season.

The question remains, will Burnley survive next season?

I personally feel that out of all the clubs who have been promoted and could potentially come up through the play-offs, Burnley are the team who are the most likely to avoid the drop.

They have a strong core to their side, with a mixture of experience and quality throughout their squad. Along with this, they have a top quality manager, who will know exactly what is needed for his side to embrace the Premier League and to stay up next season.



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