Burnley complete signing of Jason Shackell

Last updated : 05 July 2012 By Tony Scholes
Eddie Howe has finally got his man

Shackell was probably the first name mentioned in the 2011 close season as Eddie Howe looked to change his squad round. He'd just enjoyed a good season at Barnsley and Howe wanted to bring him in as part of his defensive restructuring.

The former Norwich and Wolves central defender had been at Oakwell for just a year and had two years remaining on his contract but for a while we looked favourites to snatch him from the Tykes.

Then both Derby and Portsmouth showed an interest, Portsmouth at a time when they presumably thought they had money to spend. In the end, we missed out and he signed for Derby County in late June for an undisclosed fee.

Manager Nigel Clough said at the time: "Jason brings leadership and experience qualities to Derby County and it is a tremendous signing for us.

"We have had to beat off stiff competition to land his signature and we believe he will have a big part to play in our coming season and our future.

"He is in the prime of his career and was Barnsley's standout player last season, as well as being one of the most impressive defenders in the Championship.

"Having watched him a lot last season it's clear he is a player who lives to defend."

Shackell signed a three year deal at Pride Park which led to us signing Manchester City's Ben Mee, initially on loan, and also turning our attentions to Stoke's Ryan Shotton, a deal that never did quite happen.

Back at Derby, Shackell played all 46 league games in 2011/12 and then, one year on,  the link started again. It's all been somewhat vague but Derby did confirm they'd turned down four offers from three different clubs with two of those offers believed to have come from us. It looked, given some of the comments coming from Derby County, that we were going to miss out again but now, finally, Jason Shackell is a Burnley player. The 28-year-old has signed a four year contract with the Clarets and becomes Eddie Howe's third summer signing following the captures of right back Luke O'Neill, who has arrived from Mansfield Town, and Leyton Orient's George Porter.

We're getting a very experienced defender who is also considered very much a leader. He came through the youth system at Norwich and made his first team debut in April 2003 as a 19-year-old when he deputised at left back for Adam Drury. Ironically that debut was against Derby.

He played just six games in the following season but finally landed himself a regular place in the second half of the 2004/05 season with Norwich in the Premier League.

His first appearance against Burnley came in March 2006. It wasn't a good day for him as Burnley ended a goal drought to win 2-0 at Turf Moor in front of the Sky cameras with Andy Gray (with his first Burnley goal) and Graham Branch on the scoresheet.

In another day to forget, he came on as a substitute when we won at Carrow Road in October of the same year, on the day that manager Nigel Worthington was sacked.

Shackell remained with Norwich until September 2008 when he signed for Wolves. Things never quite worked out there and in two seasons at Molineux he was unable to establish himself and played 35 league games away from Wolves during loans back at old club Norwich and then Doncaster.

He left Wolves in the summer of 2010 to join Barnsley. In the last two seasons with Barnsley and then Derby he's played in 90 of the 92 league games, missing just two during his year at Oakwell.

Jason Shackell is very much a Claret now and the reaction to his potential signing has been very positive with supporters generally keen to see a more experienced defender come in.