Maxwel Cornet’s classy farewell to Burnley after joining West Ham

Cornet joined Clarets from Lyon 12 months ago and, after nine goals in 28 appearances in all competitions – finishing as Burnley’s top scorer in the Premier League last season – returned to the top flight with the Hammers, signing a five-year deal, with the option of a sixth, after a £17.5million move, giving Burnley a £5million profit.

While the Clarets’ efforts to avoid the drop were ultimately in vain, Cornet’s arrival excited a fan base that had been stripped of excitement in the transfer market, a player with a Champions League pedigree, with four goals in three appearances against Manchester City with Lyon.

And his class said, for the most part, although he was never the same player after suffering a hamstring injury at Newcastle in December, with the Africa Cup of Nations also costing the club his qualities for about another month.

Burnley’s Ivory Coast defender Maxwel Cornet (L) is consoled by Burnley’s Dutch defender Erik Pieters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Newcastle United at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England, May 22, 2022. – Burnley were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the 2021/22 season on Sunday. The Clarets had to improve on the result of relegation rivals Leeds to extend their stay of five seasons in English football’s top flight, but lost as Leeds won at Brentford. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online use in match limited to 120 images. 40 additional images can be used in overtime. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. 40 additional images can be used in overtime. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) / EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online use in match limited to 120 images. 40 additional images can be used in overtime. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. 40 additional images can be used in overtime. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online use in match limited to 120 images. 40 additional images can be used in overtime. No video emulation. In-match use of social media limited to 120 images. 40 additional images can be used in overtime. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

But the combination of his winning smile and his ability to produce sublime moments made him a fan favorite – the right-footed volley at Leicester, his first goal for the club, putting the ice cream on the cake of a 3 win -1 over Brentford, the only league win until February, their magnificent volley to secure a 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace, the free-kick to Leeds and, of course, that winner against Everton.

There were times when you pulled your hair out, the keeper at Norwich and the penalty at the London Stadium, ironically, but overall it’s his quality that will be remembered.

Cornet said on Instagram, “I don’t know where to start, I don’t know who to thank first.

“You gave me so much love, like one of your own, and made me stronger with your unwavering support.

“Thank you Burnley, thank you for all the crazy memories, I will remember this year for the rest of my life.

“I’m so sad to see this club fall in the league, but they deserve to be back in the Premier League, that’s all I want.

“Burnley is a big family who helped me achieve one of my dreams, to play football in England.

“Thanks to you, I know the English passion for football.

“To all the fans, employees, volunteers, all of my teammates, staff and the entire city, @burnleyofficial forever.”

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