Winning four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Premier League Player of the Season award doesn’t come without good old-fashioned transplant.
Vincent Kompany achieved all of this as a player in a Manchester City side rising from the ashes to establish a foothold in football across England.
His efforts, despite injuries denying him more joy in his decorated career, saw Kompany earn legendary status – City unveiling a statue of their former defender outside the Etihad Stadium in August 2021.
All that doesn’t matter now that the Belgian is in the management world and his new job is certainly a challenge.
He took over a Burnley side playing in the Championship after suffering relegation from the Premier League last season and the departure of Turf Moor has made his job all the more difficult.
Many of the players who helped stabilize the Clarets in the Premier League are now gone with centre-backs James Tarkowski and Ben Mee both leaving on free transfers.
Meanwhile, defender Nathan Collins, goalkeeper Nick Pope and winger Dwight McNeil are also gone, while Maxwel Cornet’s future looks increasingly uncertain.
Ahead of their opener against Huddersfield on Friday night, live on talkSPORT, Kompany admitted he was under no illusions about the scale of the task ahead.
“There are plenty of reasons to be positive. But I don’t want to stray from reality,” Kompany said.
“The starting point for us is that we’ve lost and released a whole bunch of players who have been the core of this team for many, many years.
“All the success associated with this club, a lot of those players are gone. We’re trying to replace them with the restrictions that everyone knows.
“That’s the job I signed up for. For me to come and tell you we’re going to have the best performance ever on Friday, I hope so, but it has to be longer term planning.
“I want to be really direct with it. I painted the picture. I want everyone to be clear, this is what I signed up for, so it’s no surprise.
“There’s a part of that that we’ve lost a huge core of the team without really making any money, the idea is that we find players who fit the system and the way we want to play and we grow. with them.
“We are building foundations and to be healthy again, because this club has been healthy for many years.”
Kompany is no stranger to an uphill battle, however. Arriving shortly before Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of Man City, he was reportedly worried about his place as the club recruited players of higher caliber as they climbed higher.
The former defender’s response was exemplary as he elevated his game to retain his place in the first team before being named club captain in 2011 until his departure in 2018.
Time will tell if he manages to climb this particularly steep mountain as Burnley boss.