Rodriguez feels at home with Burnley

Burnley
Jay Rodriguez in action for Burnley in pre-season friendly against Wigan Athletic

Jay Rodriguez says he is delighted to be back at Burnley and believes the club is moving in the "right direction".

England international Rodriguez spent the first five years of his senior career with the Clarets, scoring an impressive 31 goals from 105 appearances across all competitions from 2007-2012.

The 30-year-old joined Southampton in June 2012 and spent the next half a decade at St Mary’s, netting 26 times from 104 matches and earning his one and only cap for the Three Lions during his time on the south coast.

A two-year stint for West Bromwich Albion then followed from 2017-2019 and he scored an impressive 22 goals in the Championship last season, as the Baggies lost in the play-off semi-finals.

Having failed to earn promotion back to the Premier League, the West Midlands outfit decided to sell Rodriguez to Burnley for a fee believed to be worth around £10million this summer, ending his stay at Hawthorns.

The forward has returned to Turf Moor after seven years away and was handed a short cameo on Saturday as Burnley opened their Premier League account with a 3-0 home victory over Southampton.

Rodriguez’s return has added some much-needed options to the attack and he will be battling it out with the likes of Ashley Barnes, who grabbed a brace against Saints, and Chris Wood for a starting spot.

Having seen the changes in the club since his first stint in Lancashire, the Englishman says he is delighted with how far the club has come over the years.

He was quoted as saying by the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think this club has totally changed in the right direction. I totally feel like a part of it, I feel lucky and I’m excited to get going with it.”

Burnley make the difficult trip to Arsenal, who won 1-0 at Newcastle United in their season-opener, on Saturday in the early kick-off, with Rodriguez pushing to make the first start of his second stint with the Clarets.

However, with such a commanding performance on the opening day of the campaign, Dyche is expected to stick with the same starting XI, with Burnley bidding to put an end to a 10-game losing run against the Gunners.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope received huge praise for his performance against the Saints and is being tipped to keep the gloves from fellow England international Joe Hart, who shared goalkeeping duties with the now-departed Tom Heaton last term.

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