“Has to be first-choice” – Will Burnley’s latest signing be a guaranteed starter? The verdict | OneFootball

“Has to be first-choice” – Will Burnley’s latest signing be a guaranteed starter? The verdict

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Football League World

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Burnley have confirmed the arrival of Oxford United defender Luke McNally, via the Championship club’s official website.

The 22-year-old, who has penned down a four-year deal at Turf Moor, caught the attention at a lot of clubs during the early stages of the summer and into the back end of last season.

Tottenham Hotspur were one of those clubs, as per a report from Football Insider, with the Premier League outfit tabling a seven-figure bid for the League One defender at the end of March.

The young defender featured 30 times in the league for the U’s last season as Karl Robinson’s side drifted away from the play-off positions near the end of the campaign.

Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts regarding McNally’s arrival in Lancashire and whether he can emerge as a guaranteed starter at Turf Moor…

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Carla Devine

This is definitely a good signing for Burnley ahead of next season. Not only is McNally good defensively, but he scored four goals last season showing he is also able to contribute to an attack making him a good asset.

Furthermore, he’s definitely a signing that the Clarets need. Given the departures of Ben Mee, James Tarkowiski and potentially Nathan Collins soon, Burnley are crying out for defensive reinforcements.

However, as it stands, I don’t see him being part of the starting line up at Turf Moor. You have to bear in mind that Kompany is aiming to take his side towards promotion next season so they will need to be on top of their game.

That means experience will be wanted in the side and those who have already competed in the league. However in time over the season, providing he takes his chances, there’s no reason why we couldn’t see the 22-year-old’s role in the side increase.

Ned Holmes

I wouldn’t say he’s a guaranteed starter but given the players that have left Burnley in the summer, you have to think that he’s got a great chance of featuring regularly.

Luke McNally is a talented defender but it’s worth remembering that he is only 22 years old and only has 18 months worth of experience in the EFL.

Next season will be his first in the Championship and it may take some getting used to playing at that sort of level.

Dale Stephens, Ben Mee, and James Tarkowski have gone but Nathan Collins is still there and Kevin Long can offer experience.

McNally should fight his way into the XI fairly quickly but he is not guaranteed a start.

Marcus Ally


This is already an upgrade on Kevin Long, and given the fact that Kompany has brought him in, McNally will be first choice at Turf Moor next season.

The 22-year-old is one of the most technically gifted defenders outside of the Premier League and under the Belgian’s influence he should only improve in the coming years.

The Clarets are clearly going to adopt a different style of football under Kompany, and frankly McNally is incomparable to the likes of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, with his ability to bring the ball out of defence and join in with attacks almost more impressive than his organisation out of possession.

There is an argument that this is a better signing than Scott Twine, McNally has to be first choice.

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