Oliver Burke Ready For West Brom Challenge


West Bromwich Albion today completed the signing of Scottish international Oliver Burke from German side RB Leipzig. The fee for the deal is believed to be in the £15m region.

Now I’ve never really liked the ‘next’ labels people give talented young footballers, so when some decided to call Burke the ‘next Gareth Bale‘ I didn’t buy into the hype.

That being said the twenty year old certainly does have talent. He possess both power and pace and he has a directness within his game that causes excitement from the fans.

Before joining Leipzig last summer, Burke had impressed in the English Championship at Nottingham Forest. He had scored four goals in his four starts for Forest before his big move to Germany.

At the mega-rich RB Leipzig Burke didn’t get the chance to impress during a preseason, he joined just after that. So he was always playing catch up. Coach Ralph Hasenhüttl had already got a team and formation in mind before Oliver’s arrival and the forward struggled to break into the starting eleven.

You cannot really argue with Hasenhüttl’s thinking either as he guided Die Roten Bullen to the runners-up spot in the Bundesliga, where they finished behind Bayern Munich and are now in this seasons Champions League. They had a continuity and game plan that worked. Unfortunately that meant the Scottish attacker hardly got a look in.

Burke made twenty-five German top flight appearances, only five of which were starts. In total he would only play 372 minutes in the Bundesliga. His highlight came with a goal in a 1-1 draw with Koln. He also created two assists, including one on his debut against Borussia Dortmund.

I was slightly surprised when the German club’s Sporting Director Ralph Rangnick came out and insinuated that for the right price RB Leipzig would sell the young Scotsman. I’d have thought that last season was a transitional year for Oliver and that he’d get more chances this term. Hasenhüttl clearly disagreed and when West Brom offered hard cash then a deal was quickly done.

It could be the best move all round. RB Leipzig could have done Burke a favour in selling him if he wasn’t going to get enough game time. At his age and with his talent he needs more minutes on the pitch. No one wants to see him stall and the German club makes a slight profit on their investment.

As a footballer, Oliver Burke would have learned a lot in those last twelve months. His approach to training will be different, playing with a successful side will have opened his eyes and small changes to his game there will stand him in good stead for his future.

He seems to have a hunger to play and succeed:

“I feel like it is a time for me to move on and play more games. I’m here, I want to impress and I want my name to be first on the team sheet,”

West From get a player with bags of potential and one that seems suited to the British game. Tony Pulis has managed to get consistent performances from fellow Scot Matt Phillips, so the experienced manager will work hard to the get the most out of the twenty year old. Pulis needs to harness his hunger and point him in the right direction. The forward is still quite raw but I believe he can still create plenty of chances and get amongst the goals this year for the Baggies in the Premier League. 

Here’s hoping that West Brom have managed to pick up a bargain and can turn this rough gem into a diamond.

One Response to “Oliver Burke Ready For West Brom Challenge”

  1. […] I mentioned the big signing of Oliver Burke last week, the Scottish forward has plenty of potential. He has a directness and ability to light up Premier League encounters. […]

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