Burnley’s final transfer act came as the clock struck 11pm on deadline day, and summed up a chaotic window.

Mike Tresor was the 15th and final signing last Friday; a young, exciting attacker who can help Burnley now and in the future. He arrived from Genk on an initial loan with an €18million (£15.4m; $19.3m) obligation to buy.

It had not been a straightforward deal, but then little about this summer has been. Burnley had been interested in Tresor all window, but there was stiff competition across Europe, and the initial price tag was too high. When it dropped to within Burnley’s budget, there were reports the player was having second thoughts — reports dismissed by club sources, speaking anonymously to protect their relationships.

On the Wednesday evening, two days before the deadline, Tresor missed his private flight to Manchester — “for various reasons,” Matt Williams, the club’s co-chief operating officer, told the BBC. Williams added that Tresor, having realised he had missed the flight, instead travelled overnight to Amsterdam to take the first scheduled flight to Manchester for his medical.

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of Belgium international Mike Tresor from Genk 🤝

The attacking midfielder joins on a season-long loan deal! 📝

— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) September 1, 2023

During that interview with the BBC, Williams expressed frustration with agents. Even as early as June, figures within the club were feeling exasperated at agents scuppering negotiations and, in some cases, demanding unrealistic sums of money, which meant that even by then Burnley had walked away from at least seven deals.

Now, however, there is internal positivity about the business they got done. This is how it played out…

Anyone expecting a quiet window, 12 months on from 16 new additions, was mistaken.

The step up to the Premier League and the departures of important loanees meant replacements were required. Hence Burnley entered the window open to strengthening every position — and they nearly did just that. Only the two full-back positions remained untouched.

Two familiar faces were among the summer’s additions: the club triggered options to permanently sign centre-back Jordan Beyer and forward Michael Obafemi, who were both on loan at Burnley last season.

The new faces are: Dara O’Shea, Lawrence Vigouroux, Zeki Amdouni, James Trafford, Nathan Redmond, Jacob Bruun Larsen (loan), Luca Koleosho, Sander Berge, Aaron Ramsey, Wilson Odobert, Hannes Delcroix, Han-Noah Massengo and Tresor (loan). Only one of them, Redmond, 29, is aged over 25.

Those are just the deals they got over the line. Last summer, Burnley had over 50 active deals throughout the window, signing 16 players. In January, they had around 20 active deals, with four players arriving.

The transfer model of owners ALK Capital involves recruiting players from across Europe and taking calculated gambles on young high-potential players. The club wants to be viewed as the hotbed for developing young talent, increasing their value and enabling them to take the next step up the ladder, while helping Burnley on the pitch.

The first stage is Kompany identifying the type of player he wants. A huge list is then compiled based on their data and analytics model. Further recommendations come from the scouting department, Kompany’s knowledge and suggestions from those he knows within the game. All are cross-checked with the data department.

The longlist is whittled down and organised into the three tiers of importance. There may then be verbal discussions with agents or clubs to register interest and find out details, which club sources say can be exaggerated when reported as being advanced interest or formal rejected offers.

In the frantic final days of this summer’s window, the club was attributing many of the links to agents attempting to drum up interest. PSV Eindhoven’s Johan Bakayoko was enquired about and discussions over a valuation were held, but no formal offer was made. It was similar for Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier and Sunderland’s Dan Neil.

No formal offer was made by Burnley for Bakayoko (Photo: Jeroen Putmans/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Enquiries for Leeds United’s Crysencio Summerville and Benfica’s Tomas Araujo were knocked back. Patson Daka was considered, while any deal for AC Milan striker Divock Origi was ruled out immediately with the Belgian viewing the club as a last resort. Monaco winger Krepin Diatta was another the club checked in on.

Burnley make valuations for players they target and very rarely budge from that — it is understood there can be a roughly 10 per cent increase on the valuation. In terms of ceiling, this summer they were only prepared to go above £20million for a game changer, with deals around £15m deemed more plausible.

The price tag for Metz striker Georges Mikautadze (who later joined Ajax), someone Burnley had attempted to sign the previous summer, was considered too high, so attention shifted to Amdouni. It was similar for Sunderland’s Jack Clarke and Millwall’s Zian Flemming. Likewise, Burnley were not prepared to go above £10million for Coventry City’s Gustavo Hamer. The selling club were not interested in a deal including Luke McNally, who spent the second half of last season on loan there.

Stage two of Burnley’s process, once the list has been whittled down, comprises the “senior review”: an in-depth look at a player’s positioning, tactical understanding and further details including character assessments and psychological profiles. Then it is up to Kompany and his staff to decide whether to sanction a move.

As with last summer, the initial list of first-choice targets was not identical to the signings made by the end of the window. A loan move for Cole Palmer was lined up before Chelsea swooped in with a permanent bid. Hertha Berlin striker Dodi Lukebakio had second thoughts about playing for a team battling relegation so opted for Sevilla.

Lee Kang-in was a key early target. He was initially unconvinced but after talks with Kompany, the South Korean was open to a move and Mallorca were willing sellers. Any hopes of persuading him to move to the Premier League were eliminated when Paris Saint-Germain muscled in and agreed a €22million deal.

Lee Kang-in

Lee Kang-in swerved Turf Moor for Paris (Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)

Kompany is the club’s No 1 selling point. Signing a new five-year deal at the end of the 2022-23 campaign was a significant step for the club, as players are desperate to play for him and it ended questions about his future.

New signings referenced their conversation with the manager as a key reason why they joined. Even before Burnley lifted the Championship title on the final day of last season, agents had been in touch to see if their players were of interest to the club — including one player who was offered to the club by four different agents.

Burnley finished the window having spent in excess of £90million, recouping just £2m in player sales.

The departing loanees included Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Nathan Tella and Ian Maatsen. The latter was a key Burnley target after excelling last season. A permanent deal was discussed, but a £15million offer was rejected. Chelsea were looking for in excess of £20million but Burnley were unconvinced.

The Dutch youth international, who has entered the final 12 months of his contract, enjoyed an encouraging pre-season with his parent club Chelsea and received praise from new manager Mauricio Pochettino. Burnley monitored the situation as a new long-term contract was offered to the defender.



Inside Burnley’s pre-season: Dedication, intensity and a non-negotiable style of play

Their patience seemed set to be rewarded when Chelsea opened the door to a move on deadline day. An initial loan with an obligation to buy of £31.5million was agreed. Maatsen, however, turned down the deal, with him being intent to stay and fight for his place. He spoke to Kompany about his decision.

It left Burnley without the left-back they craved all summer. There had been alternatives, most notably Manchester United’s Alvaro Fernandez, but they ended the window with no additions in that position.

Vitinho, Hannes Delcroix and Connor Roberts have all played there in each of the first three league games. None of them are specialist left-backs. The only remaining one at the club is Charlie Taylor. He has not been included in any of the league matchday squads. Leeds United showed interest in him throughout the summer but Burnley were reluctant to let him leave until they had signed a replacement.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor, last man standing at left-back (Photo: Gareth Copley via Getty Images)

The biggest saga surrounded Tella, who also excelled at Burnley on loan in 2022-23, scoring 19 goals. The player wanted to return and the club were keen to bring him back.

Club sources indicated that the initial price tag quoted for Tella was around £8-10million at the start of the summer, but that almost doubled very quickly to £18-20million. There was annoyance within the club that Southampton were charging for the value that Burnley had created.

The first offer from Burnley of £9.5million was rejected. Discussions continued, but a loan and obligation to buy suggestion was dismissed too. Tella spoke to Kompany and was kept up to date on the situation. The player made it clear to Southampton that he would like to return, but would not down tools and would focus on performing, which he did in the opening weeks of the season.

Southampton refused to budge on their valuation while Burnley would not increase their final proposal which is understood to have been a deal worth £14million.



Kompany is learning the hard way there is no safe space for Burnley

Frustration grew and eventually led to the controversial #FreeTella TikTok posted by chairman Alan Pace’s daughter Ashlyn, which was reposted and shared by her father. Fan media channels were also contacted to promote the hashtag.

It was the talk of Southampton’s training ground and left Tella in an uncomfortable position with questions fired in his direction. Others involved in the deal aired their discontent privately.

Other teams were circling, including Bayer Leverkusen, whose pitch to Tella was enticing. Manager Xabi Alonso wanted him to come and be a key player for them. European football appealed. After negotiations which saw two bids rejected, a fee of around £20million was agreed and Tella flew to Germany.

Nathan Tella BABY! 🙌🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

We are delighted to announce the signing of the 24-year-old Englishman on a deal until 2028! ✍️⚫️🔴#Tella2028 #Bayer04 #Werkself pic.twitter.com/wZl9Nxt0e3

— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) August 27, 2023

Kompany has a squad of 34 players to work with now. Keeping them all happy may prove tricky.

Trafford and Amdouni starred in the Under-21 European Championship and generated the most excitement internally. Ramsey too.

A lot has been made of the number of wide players signed. Redmond, Bruun Larsen, Tresor, Odobert and Koleosho all provide individual attacking flair. Add Amdouni and Ramsey, and Kompany has a host of young and versatile attackers. He views them as Easter eggs that, throughout the season, will open and deliver surprises.

The big shock was no sale of a significant asset, which is deemed key to continuing ALK’s sustainable business model. Kompany felt it was crucial to retain the core of the squad rather than lose a big player. Anass Zaroury, Manuel Benson and Josh Cullen were all rewarded with new contracts.

Josh Brownhill has had contract discussions and Burnley have tabled an offer. The midfielder has 12 months remaining on his deal, plus an additional one-year option. The 27-year-old has not started any of the three league games, the first due to injury, and he was subject to interest for the second summer in a row after a standout 2022-23 campaign. Leicester and Everton sounded out whether he was available, while there was late interest from West Ham and Wolves, though nothing developed.

Josh Brownhill

Brownhill came on as a sub against Spurs last week (Photo: Stu Forster via Getty Images)

The buying and selling is done and now the gelling and developing ramps up. Last January’s additions of Lyle Foster, Hjalmar Ekdal, Ameen Al-Dakhil and Obafemi were done with the Premier League in mind and they had six months to bed in and adapt to Kompany’s system. This season, video analysis and individual sessions have been frequent to help the new players understand and begin adapting to Kompany’s system.

Three straight defeats and 11 goals conceded have been far from the ideal start. The pressure is on for Kompany to get his new signings up to speed.

(Top photos: Getty Images)