Soccer

Burnley dealt injury blow as Luca Koleosho faces several months out

Luca Koleosho, centre, faces a spell on the sidelines (Mike Egerton/PA)
Luca Koleosho, centre, faces a spell on the sidelines (Mike Egerton/PA) Luca Koleosho, centre, faces a spell on the sidelines (Mike Egerton/PA)

Burnley’s survival hopes have suffered a significant blow with winger Luca Koleosho facing several months out with a knee injury.

The 19-year-old summer signing from Espanyol has been one of Burnley’s brightest lights so far this term and scored his first goal for the club in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Sheffield United.

But the Italy under-21 international was hurt in the first half of Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Wolves and, after initially trying to carry on, was forced off with 36 minutes gone.

Luca Koleosho was forced off against Wolves
Luca Koleosho was forced off against Wolves Luca Koleosho was forced off against Wolves (Nigel French/PA)

“It’s bad news for us,” manager Vincent Kompany said. “He’s going to be out for a while apparently…I’d like to think he’ll still play this season but it might be towards the end of the season.”

Kompany would not disclose the precise nature of Koleosho’s injury but the loss of the pacy and incisive young forward is a major setback for a team who, Saturday’s big win aside, have struggled to score goals all season.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure that he’ll get back healthy and ready to go again,” Kompany added. “I think now the key concern for us is to make sure he doesn’t sustain any long-term damage because he’s still young, we’ll do everything right by him…

“Past the fact that it’s a blow for a young player, I still think it’s for someone else now to step up and wear the shirt in a way that Luca has done.

“In these moments if you keep your head calm you can really get better, get stronger from these moments. I’ve no doubt he’ll come back stronger but for us short-term wise it’s an undeniable blow.”

But when asked if Koleosho’s injury could force Burnley into the January transfer market, Kompany said it was unlikely a club that signed 15 players in the summer would be busy next month.

“The squad is still fairly large and we don’t have unlimited resources,” Kompany said. “If we can find a way to improve the squad drastically we’ll do that but if it’s just to add numbers that’s not what we’re out for…

“I don’t see how we could drastically go out there and drastically spend our way into staying in this division. It would have to be one or two really smart deals if we can find them.

“You’re not necessarily in the strongest position when you’re at the bottom of the league to make a case to a player to commit his future to you, but there might be an opportunity.

“The key thing for us is also making sure the players we have now and the clear improvements you see, that they keep that progress level up.

“The likes of Zeki (Amdouni) or Sander Berge, these guys, their performance has improved that much from two months ago and they’ve got that much left to go, that could be the key factor for us in turning performances into results.”