Burnley have signed Wayne Hennessey on a free transfer from Crystal Palace on a two year deal until June 2023.
Hennessey’s decision to move to Turf Moor comes after spending the last eight seasons at Palace in which he made 134 appearances in all competitions, as well as claim 96 caps for Wales and surpassed Neville Southall’s record 34 clean sheets in all international competitions.
Speaking on his decision to sign for Burnley, Hennessey said that he has always been aware of Burnley’s “great atmosphere” and unity, commenting: “The lads are superb, always tight and have always played really well together and with Sean Dyche, as well, have an amazing manager.
“They’re exciting times and I’m excited to start working with the lads.”
Hennessey is expected to do battle with Nick Pope for the no.1 goalkeeper role this season but was full of respect for the England international, saying: “Popey’s a great lad but it’s competition, which is healthy.
“That’s part of the goalkeeping union. There’s always competition. There’s always that one spot but we’ll be friends off the field.”
Hennessey will wear the no.13 shirt this season for Burnley.
Burnley Goalkeeping Coach, Billy Mercer praised Hennessey for his impressive record as he welcomed the Wales goalkeeper to the club, commenting: “He has played 96 times for Wales and 181 Premier League games, so he’s got bags of experience. He is a top-class goalkeeper and a great professional.”
Mercer also revealed that he has done plenty of homework studying Hennessey as a player and believes that he will be “everything you want at a football club.”
With Burnley being a close-knit team in terms of spirit, Mercer also noted Hennessey’s evident enthusiasm and support even when not starting matches, adding: “He is very supportive if he’s not playing, which is vital because we pride ourselves on the team spirit we have here.”
Burnley currently have Pope, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Will Norris amongst their goalkeeping ranks but Mercer believes that Hennessey will be “a great addition” to the group, given Peacock-Farrell and Norris’ inexperience at Premier League level.
Mercer also iterated that Hennessey isn’t guaranteed a certain place in the goalkeeping pecking order based on his “bags of experience”, so will have to work on his game and in training alongside the Clarets’ three existing goalkeepers to earn his position in Sean Dyche’s selections.
Hennessey is also looking to push for 100 caps for Wales which Mercer is delighted about given the quality of Welsh goalkeepers to have played before him, whilst hoping that his arrival strengthens Burnley’s goalkeeping department further.
Hennessey added that he feels that to achieve 100 caps for Wales would be “amazing” after having already surpassed Southall’s 92 caps, adding: “I’m getting so close to that 100 mark and if I can make it that will be amazing.
“But also, the previous players I’ve managed to pass. My hero Neville Southall (capped 92 times). That was massive.
“If I can keep going and get that 100 in that will be amazing.”