MX23RW : Thursday, February 21 00:46:30

Sean Dyche welcomes centre-back competition after signing Ben Gibson

Dyche welcomes centre-back competition
© Reuters
Sean Dyche talks up the leadership qualities that Ben Gibson will bring with him to Burnley after arriving from Middlesbrough in a £15m move.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has insisted that the signing of Ben Gibson will help to get the best out of each of his central defenders.

The Clarets boss strengthened his backline with the arrival of Middlesbrough stalwart Gibson, who cost a joint club-record fee of £15m.

Having got a deal over the line on Sunday, Dyche is pleased to have given the likes of James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Kevin Long some much-needed competition for a starting place in what could prove to be a long season.

"We are always trying to increase the competitive demand in the group, and last year we carried three centre halves, which is tricky," he told the club's official website. "The demands of the Premier League are there for all to see and, of course we now have the Europa League and we don't know how far that's going to go.

"Then you have domestic cups, so that has to be looked at. Ben is a very competitive player and he will continually push the players. One of the definite demands of being a footballer is when a new face comes in, particularly a high qualify new face. I think he is high quality and he is up for the challenge of competing for the shirt.

"I spoke to him and he's very straight and very demanding. He's captain-type, and has captained his last club, so he has a really strong mentality and I think he knows he is going to have to earn the right, as everyone does here."

Gibson is Burnley's first signing of the summer, with Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart reportedly close behind.


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Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson applauds fans at the end of the game against Ipswich Town on December 9, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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