Erik Pieters – Fantasy Football Potential

Burnley have captured the signature of Erik Pieters for a fee of around £1.5 million from Championship side Stoke. The 30 year old Dutch left back adds Premier League experience to Burnley’s squad as they look to improve on their 15th place finish last season.

Pieters started his career in his native Netherlands, at Utrecht and PSV Eindhoven, before moving to Stoke City in 2013. He also enjoyed the second half of last season on loan at Amiens, helping them to retain their place in the French top flight. Here’s what he has had to say about the move back to the Premier League:

‘Burnley gave me the opportunity to get back into the Premier League and it feels good to be back’

Player History

Pieters started his professional career at Utrecht in the Netherlands as a teenager. He played there for two seasons before being signed for PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2008. Pieters has 5 years at PSV, during his time he broke into the Dutch national team.

Having struggled with injuries towards the end of his time at PSV, he moved to Stoke City prior to the 2013/14 season for around £3.5m. Pieters was a consistent performer for Stoke and was a regular in the starting line-up for five Premier League seasons. Stoke were relegated to the Championship in 2018, but Pieters remained at the club for the first half of the season in the second tier of English football. He was then loaned out to Amiens in France for the second half of the season.

Pieters has now returned to the Premier League, and will wear the claret and blue of Burnley.

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Fantasy Football Potential

Pieters is priced at £4.5m for the upcoming season, which appears to be a fair price in a side which has the ability to shut sides out for long periods of the game but has also found clean sheets hard to come by. Burnley conceded 68 goals last season, conceding 5 against Everton and Manchester City, and 4 against Fulham, West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool. They managed to keep 8 clean sheets throughout the course of the 2018/19 season. Burnley will be looking to replicate the defensive performance of the 2017/18 season, only conceding 39 goals, helping them to finish 7th in the table.

Pieters attacking output has never been outstanding, in his five Premier league seasons at Stoke he only ever managed 1 goal and 9 assists.

It remains to be seen who Burnley manager Sean Dyche will see as his first choice left back out of Erik Pieters and Charlie Taylor. There is a concern that Pieters may simply be a replacement for Stephen Ward, who has joined Stoke, he was a squad player at Burnley. Therefore it may be worth keeping an eye on Burnley’s pre-season games to see if Dyche is clearly favouring one or the other.

In summary, Erik Pieters may be a good choice as a low value defender if he appears to be the first choice left-back. If Burnley can recapture the defensive form of 2017/18, Erik Pieters will be a good choice for a defender at the lower end of the prices, although there may be others in that price bracket who can offer better attacking returns.

Written by Will Gosling (@_WG5)

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