James Tarkowski set to be given opportunity to claim Burnley starting spot
Burnley boss Sean Dyche is ready to give James Tarkowski an extended chance to fill the gap left by £30million man Michael Keane.
Keane enjoyed the best season of his career last year, with his form at the heart of the Clarets' defence earning him England recognition and a big-money move to Everton.
That leaves a sizeable pair of boots to fill in the Burnley back line but, rather than rush to recruit a replacement, Dyche is happy to see how his existing options fare.
Former Oldham and Brentford centre-back Tarkowski, who made 24 appearances in 2016/17, is first in line to partner Ben Mee, with Kevin Long also on hand, and looks set to be given time to show his skills.
" A few years ago we put our trust in Michael Keane and that worked out all right," said Dyche.
"You can't guarantee it. You develop the players with a view to improve and doing well now. Keano needed to go through that last time in the Premier League to get to where he's got to. I was given the chance to encourage that development period where others would've been sacked, but he needed that to learn about the game."
Dyche, who has added experienced Premier League performers in Jon Walters, Phil Bardsley and Jack Cork, has not ruled out adding to his defensive options before the window ends but is not treating it as a priority.
"Ideally we like to have two for each position so there's competition. We've got three recognised centre-halves and Charlie Taylor, who I think could adapt into a very good centre-half. If one is right for us, and fits what we're about, then we would be interested. But only if they can better what we're doing at the moment."
On the other side of the coin there has been reported interest in striker Andre Gray, including links with ambitious Championship outfit Wolves.
Burnley do not expect to sell again this summer but Dyche is sanguine about the volatility of a transfer market that has been taken to a new level in recent months.
"You never know. We're not under any pressure to sell anyone, that's obvious, because the club is in very good shape," he said.
"You just never know with the shifting sands of the market. You think you can control it but you can't really. Are contracts really worth what they're meant to be worth? You can never say never."