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Loan Men Back At Turf

Clarets plot new moves to give more experience to young players

2 January 2018

The Clarets have welcomed back half-a-dozen young players to Turf Moor following loan spells during the first half of the season.

And plans are under way to allow a number to gain additional first-team experience with further moves before the January transfer window closes.

Midfielder Aiden O’Neill (above) has been re-called from Fleetwood Town and on Wednesday links up with the Australia U23 squad for an Olympic qualifying tournament in China.

The 19-year-old, who made five senior appearances for the Clarets last season, is expected to move out on loan again before the end of the month to add to the experience he has gained in League One with Fleetwood and, during a previous loan spell, Oldham Athletic.

Central defenders Alex Whitmore and Jimmy Dunne are back from stints at Bury and Barrow, respectively.

Alex Whitmore has also been on loan at Morecambe, Chester and Gateshead

Whitmore, 22, started 10 times for the Shakers, while Dunne, 20, started 21 National League games for the Bluebirds, scoring twice and also receiving two red cards.

His final appearance came in Barrow’s 3-3 draw against Wrexham on New Year’s Day, and the former Manchester United youngster – who joined Burnley’s Development Squad in July, 2016 – is expected to move out again to further his footballing education.

Goalkeeper Conor Mitchell and striker Ntumba Massanka have also ended their stints in the National League with Mitchell’s stay Chester City formally over and Massanka, 21, ending a second spell at Wrexham following 26 appearances and two goals for the Welshmen since August.

Meanwhile, defender Luke Hendrie is eligible to play for Bradford City in their FA Cup third-round tie at Yeovil Town on Saturday before his initial loan stay with the Bantams ends.

The full-back, 23, has made 17 appearances for the League One promotion hopefuls and is likely to go out on loan again.

Striker Dan Agyei, 20, has also gained League One experience with a total of 20 appearances and five goals for Walsall, but may head back to Turf Moor this week before a decision is made on the next phase of his development.

In the short term, some of those returning this week could figure for the Under-23s when Michael Duff’s side returns to action at Leeds United on Friday – the same day the Under-18s face Plymouth Argyle in the FA Youth Cup at Turf Moor (KO 7pm).

Defender Tom Anderson (Port Vale), striker Chris Long (Northampton Town), winger Josh Ginnelly and midfielder Brad Jackson (Southport) remain out on loan for the remainder of the season.

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