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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

James Trafford: Dropped star will be ‘great English goalkeeper’, says Burnley manager Kompany

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany has predicted James Trafford will be “a great English goalkeeper” after ending the 21-year-old’s ever-present run in this season’s Premier League by dropping him for the Clarets’ 2-1 home win over Brentford.

England Under-21 regular Trafford had been the only player in Kompany’s squad to have played every minute of their top-flight campaign, producing mixed performances behind the second-leakiest defence in the division after bottom side Sheffield United.

Kosovo international Arijanet Muric, who was first-choice during Burnley’s promotion-winning 2022/23 season, took over for their first win in 11 league games and the first time in eight matches that they have conceded fewer than two goals.

Read our other sports news stories here:
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“It’s not a big decision at all,” Kompany sad. “We have two very good goalkeepers. I’m always trying to do what’s best for the team.

“We have one who, in the future, will be a great English goalkeeper and another who’s actually a top goalkeeper in his own [right].

“It’s a luxury position. We have two guys competing and we chose the player who was ready for this game in our opinion.”

James Trafford Burnley record

Trafford signed from Manchester City in July for a fee of £15 million plus up to £4m in add-ons, as well as an option for the reigning Premier League champions to buy him back.

The City academy product has kept one clean sheet in his last 14 appearances and was part of the side who spurned a two-goal half-time lead in a 2-2 draw at West Ham last Sunday.

On-loan Chelsea forward David Datro Fofana scored with a spectacular strike at London Stadium and put Burnley 2-0 ahead against the struggling Bees after missing a clear earlier opportunity.

“We’ve had our fair share of chances missed, so we don’t get to sulk about it,” said Kompany.

“We have to keep going. He scored one today, he could have scored two or three, but that’s part of why he’s with us. He’s wanting to make that step.

“Celebrating is today. That’s it. It’s celebrate and then work straight away. We go back to work as soon as we’re back in and we look forward to that.”

Burnley are eight points from safety with a vastly inferior goal difference to the teams above the bottom two. They are next in action against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on March 30.

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