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Dyche in no panic to replace Keane at Burnley

Soccer Football - Alfreton Town vs Burnley - Pre Season Friendly - June 22, 2017 Burnley manager Sean Dyche Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Soccer Football - Alfreton Town vs Burnley - Pre Season Friendly - June 22, 2017 Burnley manager Sean Dyche Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

By Simon Evans

BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Burnley manager Sean Dyche says he is not focused on buying a replacement for England international defender Michael Keane despite having just three recognised central defenders at the Premier League club.

Keane moved to Everton last month in deal worth up to 30 million pounds ($39.41 million) after playing a major role in keeping Burnley in the top flight last season.

Asked whether he was looking to bring in a direct replacement for Keane, Dyche said: "Not necessarily. We like to ideally have two players for every position, so there is true competition.

"Ideally, in a perfect world you would have some young players underneath that, in the background. We have got three recognised centre halfs and Charlie Taylor who we brought in, I think he could adapt into a very good centre half actually."

Taylor, who normally plays at left back, was signed from Leeds United last month and has featured in the centre of defence in pre-season games, including Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo.

Dyche believes the 23-year-old Taylor could adjust to playing in a central defensive role.

"I haven’t brought him in for that reason but we played him there the other night, played him in pre-season there just because I like the look of him. I like to be open-minded, with my staff, about where players can play, not just where you buy them for," he said.

Dyche is not however ruling out a further defensive addition before the transfer deadline closes on Aug. 31.

"If one is right for us and can fit what we are about then we would be interested but only if they can at least challenge, if not better, what we are doing at the moment," he said.

The most likely replacement for Keane, at the moment, in the Burnley starting lineup is James Tarkowski, who has been restricted to a back-up role due to the consistent performances of Keane and Ben Mee.

While Tarkowski, 24, has had limited Premier League experience since joining the club from Championship side Brentford in February 2016, Dyche indicated he was willing to give him time.

"A few years ago we put our trust in Michael Keane, that worked out alright. So, you can’t guarantee it, you work with a player, you buy or develop the players with a view of ‘I think they can improve' and over that improvement period still obviously do what they need to do now," he said.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis)

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