No return for Gibson despite Burnley injury woes

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Burnley - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - August 12, 2018 Burnley's Ben Gibson during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Hannah McKay

BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Burnley will not be asking Ben Gibson to return to training with the club despite the injury to skipper Ben Mee leaving them with only two senior central defenders for the remainder of the campaign.

Gibson joined Burnley for a reported 15 million pounds from Middlesbrough in 2018 but after finding it tough to break into the side, he demanded a transfer in the January window.

When a deal did not materialise, he was allowed to train with Middlesbrough and has not been involved at the club with his future expected to be resolved at the end of the season.

However, Burnley manager Sean Dyche says he has no plans to bring the 27-year-old back into the fold.

“His situation hasn’t changed really,” Dyche told reporters on Tuesday.

“The only thing that has changed is the COVID situation which means it has been pushed back. We were always going to re-evaluate in the summer so we will re-evaulate at the end of the season,” he added.

Burnley, who play West Ham United at London Stadium on Wednesday, are likely to feature Kevin Long alongside James Tarkowski at the back.

With Jack Cork also sidelined for several weeks and needing minor surgery on an ankle injury, Josh Brownhill is likely to keep his place in central midfield.

Chris Wood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady are all available again however after coming back from injury and making the bench for Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar