Date: 6th September 2011 at 8:07am
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The loan window opens on Thursday this week with the Clarets widely expected to be active in the market.

They have already strongly been linked with Stoke defender, Ryan Shotton and Bolton striker, Tom Eaves.

There is no doubt though our defence has to be our top priority for strengthening. Ryan Shotton was a Burnley target in the summer transfer window which closed at the end of last month.

A deal failed to materialise but it was reported that Eddie Howe had still not given up and now hoped to bring him in on loan.

The long-throw expert looks to be the ideal candidate and would offer the Clarets something new in the back four.

There is still some doubt though that Tony Pulis would be willing to release the 22 year old since he appears to be the deputy for Rory Delap in the long-throw department; a tactic it seems crucial to Stoke’s game. Shotton was also recently named in the Premier League’s club 25 man squad suggesting he is firmly in Pulis’s plans for the season ahead. The defender, who has also featured as an emergency striker has played a number of games recently for Stoke both in the top flight and in the Europa League.

If the Clarets therefore fail in their bid, who could also be on their radar as a contingency?

Two names in particular are being banded about. One is West Brom defender, Craig Dawson and Vital Burnley have already mentioned him as one of the possibilities in our Rumour Mill articles.

The 21 year old, former Rochdale defender has already been honoured at England Under 21 international level.

He is a local boy, born in Rochdale and spent most of his career playing for his local team even after signing for West Brom.

The Baggies signed him in August 2010 for an undisclosed fee on a three year deal but then almost immediately let him return to Rochdale on a season-long loan until the end of the 2010-11 season.

Dawson could relish a return to the North West in order to play some games

Another name we are being linked with is former Rangers defender, Danny Wilson (pictured above). The 19 year old Scotland international currently plies his trade with Liverpool but has found first team opportunities few and far between.

Wilson joined Liverpool in July 2010 after signing a three-year deal for an initial transfer fee of £2 million, potentially rising to £5 million based on appearances.

Since that time though he has made just two appearances for the club and is reported to be seeking a move away from Anfield.

He certainly looks a useful player and can play both at left back and as a central defender although even at Rangers he only featured in 14 games.

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