Burnley Lose Key Man For The Rest Of The Season
Everytime you think Sean Dyche an Burnley can't surprise you anymore they do exactly that and their position in the Premier League this season has taken most by surprise but to keep it they'll have to make do without a star player.
Burnley were never expected to be a Premier League side once, never mind twice, and they certainly weren't expected to survive last season when they finished 16th as more established sides went down.
So surely Sean Dyche couldn't pull off the trick a second time? Well so far so good as the Clarets sit behind only the big six in seventh place and survival looks pretty good.
Sure they're only 12 points clear of the relegation zone but with so many sides in between them and the drop it's unlikely they'll be anywhere near going down.
In fact if they keep going the way they are and one of the big six ends up winning the FA Cup then they could end up in the Europa League next season.
However attempts to keep going the way they are have been dealt a blow with ever present midfielder Steven Defour confirming on Instagram that he'll be out for the season, saying:
"Hard to take this one. Really gutted i can't end the season in the way i wanted it. Promise to comeback stronger for the new season."
Scans showed that the 29 year old needed knee surgery after picking up and injury in the side's 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Wednesday night.
In a further blow to the Belgian he is unlikely to make the World Cup in Russia this summer.
Sir Alex Ferguson sends Defour a letter after he broke his leg in 2009
Eight years before scoring a wonderful free-kick past David de Gea at Old Trafford, the highly rated Steven Defour was touted for great things during his time at Standard Liège - just check out his stats on Football Manager 2007.
During his five year spell with the club, he became an influential member of the Belgian First Division side, captaining his side on a regular basis, but serious injuries scuppered his chances of a big move.
Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City were reportedly interested in his services, and Manchester United may have been interested looking at the letter Sir Alex Ferguson sent him back in 2009 - just days after he broke a bone in his foot.
The letter from Sir Alex read: "Dear Steven, I have just heard about your injury and, in the name of Manchester United, I would like to wish you a full and speedy recovery. I am sure at the moment you must be feeling awful and that you'll have all kinds of questions."
"Steven, these are natural worries but I have to tell you that modern medicine and treatments are incredible, you have to have confidence in them.
"I'm going to follow your progress closely and I will remain in contact with your club to have news of your recovery."
Now playing for Premier League high flyers Burnley, the midfielder is discovering his form this season, including a Boxing Day screamer against David de Gea.
In fact, Steven Defour's goal for Burnley is the first that De Gea has conceded from outside the penalty area in Premier League this season. He had saved all the previous 32 attempts.