The Oliver Burke/Celtic Loan Deal Looks A Bit Odd

Celtic have brought in their first signing of the winter transfer window, with the club’s website confirming that they’d agreed a deal to bring Scotland international Oliver Burke on a six month loan deal.

While I don’t believe the move is a particularly bad one, I am not sure it makes a lot of sense either.

Burke has been used just three times (all from the bench) in The English Championship this season. All of those appearances have seen him being used on the right wing.

The forward can also play on the other wing or as a number ten, but in all honesty do the Scottish Premiership champions need another winger in their squad or an attacking midfielder?

Burke’s been mainly used as a right winger during his short career and that’s where James Forrest has been used to great effect this term. In the last month or so, Scott Sinclair has hit form on the left flank.

Celtic also have other wingers within their ranks like Jonny Hayes, Lewis Morgan and young Mikey Johnston. Central midfielders Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie can also be used as makeshift wide-men if needed.

McGregor and Christie also have the ability to play as number tens as can Tom Rogic and forgotten man Scott Allan.

If I was Oliver Burke I’d only move out on loan if I were guaranteed proper game time. I’m pretty sure Celtic haven’t offered him any guarantees, especially not in his favoured position.

Now some might argue that Burke is made of better stuff than some of those already at Parkhead. But is that really the case?

Yes Oliver had plenty of potential when he broke through at Nottingham Forest back in 2014 but he’s never managed to realise that potential.

Big moves followed as he first joined RB Leipzig and then West Bromwich Albion but he didn’t flourish at either club. His last league goal came in 2016 for Die Bullen.

Much was expected of him after his £15m move back to England, but he struggled to be anything other than ordinary in the Premier League. He had three bosses at West Brom, yet none of them felt he had what it took to get them out of trouble. Burke would only make two Premier League starts last term.

It was then believed that the winger would relish playing back in the English Championship but opportunities were extremely limited. I think there’s got to be a reason for that. What that is you’d have to ask his previous gaffers.

Now Celtic do have a manager that can get more out of a player in Brendan Rodgers but why can’t he get that from a Lewis Morgan?

Morgan’s career trajectory was on the up and up when he joined Celtic in the summer and he looked very decent in preseason. While Burke on the other hand has watched as his career has stalled.

Yet Lewis hasn’t managed to get a start for The Hoops in the league.

The Scottish Sun have stated that Rodgers could be willing to loan Morgan out during this month:

“They need to get games and need to play. We’ve had a number of loan enquiries. We’ve had conversations with guys we feel it would benefit to go out and play.”

“Lewis and I have had a good conversation. Even though he hasn’t been playing so much he feels he’s really developing in the culture here.”

“He’s getting to grips with the mentality of Celtic and what that entails. Again, we will see.”



5 Responses to “The Oliver Burke/Celtic Loan Deal Looks A Bit Odd”

  1. The more games that Burke gets the better.

  2. Scott Sinclair has hit form on the left flank.

    Who writes this nonsense. Have you actually watch celtic of late?

  3. Looks to me like Burke has been brought in to compete with Sinclair for left wing place. I agree that Lewis Morgan was brought in for the same position, but he’s obviously not seen as ready to be relied upon yet. I certainly haven’t seen Scott Sinclair upping his game under pressure from Morgan. Also agree that other positions need strengthened more, but if we get a more direct attacking threat from Burke or Sinclair in the second half of the season that could make a big difference to performances.

  4. Sinclair has scored five in his last ten games, he’s the club’s third top scorer in the league this term.

    He scored a hat-trick in an important win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Boxing day and got the goal that won Celtic the game away to Rosenborg in the Europa League.

    Burke has hardly been used on the left, so that’s a big question mark.

  5. […] A few weeks back I wrote an article discussing why I thought Celtic’s loan move for Oliver Burke was a bit of an odd one. […]

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