Wells fit for maiden appearance in claret
Nahki Wells is poised to make his first appearance in a Burnley shirt since joining by the Premier League club on transfer deadline day.
The Bermuda striker has recovered from minor surgery to remove a screw in his ankle from an operation earlier in his career and has been included as an over-age player in the Burnley Under-23 squad who are away to Nottingham Forest in the Professional Development League at the City Ground today.
“Nahki was fit from last season, came into preseason and needed this minor situation sorting out,” Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager, told the club’s website. “It’s been careful as you go, but he’s been progressing nicely and going into more football-style action with a game.”
Wells completed a £5 million move (about $6.6 million) from Burnley’s top-flight rivals Huddersfield Town in August.
The 27-year-old is part of a revamped Burnley forward line, including summer signings Chris Wood, the New Zealand striker who joined for a reported £15 million from Leeds United, and Jonathan Walters, who arrived from Stoke City.
Dyche is confident that Wells will be equal to the task of playing in the Premier League.
“Nahki is a player I have known for a while,” Dyche said. “I like the idea of hungry players who want to perform at the top level.
“Like Wood, he has been searching for his chance and it wasn’t clear it was going to come at Huddersfield. He is another player we have been monitoring for a long time and sometimes the lines just cross at the right time.
“He’s obviously something different to what we’ve got. We know in the Premier League you need as many different attacking threats as possible and he is a different type to what we’ve got.”
Wells’s team-mate Phil Bardsley, the former Scotland and Manchester United defender, added: “We’ve got players who can unlock defences.
“We’ve brought Chris Wood in, we’ve got Nahki Wells, Ashley Barnes, Sam Vokes, we’ve got some big threats up there and we’re full of confidence at the moment.”
Burnley, who are sixth in the Premier League, one point adrift of Arsenal, are at home to fifteenth place West Ham United tomorrow.