Celtic fans have generally been expressing bemusement and disappointment at signing Oliver Burke.
The West Bromwich Albion attacker has been brought to Parkhead on a six-month loan deal. Interestingly, however, there is no option to buy at the end of the contract.
WBA’s Technical Director, Luke Dowling, has stated that they want him back in the summer. This, of course, doesn’t exactly stop Celtic from going for Burke if he becomes a success. At £15million, however, WBA would need to take a loss on him if that was to ever go down.
Supporters, however, appear generally disappointed with the lack of ambition in the new loan signing.
Reacting on Twitter, many have had their say on the short-term deal:
Oliver Burke has all the attributes to be a top player but he needs to be playing regular first team football. 6 month loan deal doesn’t make much sense but there is maybe an option to extend or buy at the end of the season.
— CelticBible (@CelticBible) January 5, 2019
Have we learned nothing?🤦🏻♂️
— Baby Bhoy💪🍼 (@goddamnpal) January 5, 2019
If you were asked if Celtic should sign a player who has went for £13m and £15m, played in the English Premiership, Bundesliga and has five international caps, you’d be crazy to turn it down. When that player turns out to be Oliver Burke, however…
— Kieran Caw (@Kieran_Celtic) January 2, 2019
thank u, next
— james kerrigan🍋🍀 (@jtkerrigan_) January 5, 2019
Is this a throwback to tony mowbray era with these 6 month loans and unhead of strikers?
— Martin Richardson (@richy0154) January 5, 2019
Oli burke for a few month. pic.twitter.com/bLepQzC6vr
— Simply [⭐] Celtic (@TheHoopsFan) January 5, 2019
Olly Burke is an full blown Peter lawwell signing.
No transfer fee, shares wages, cheap option who can play RW or upfront.
2 for 1 and cheap as chips.
— craig (@cdmurphy1980) January 5, 2019
I actually don't for a second believe Brendan Rodgers sat doon n went "know whit a really want? Oli Burke. 6 months. Nae option of a deal at the end of it."
— Georgios Stepharas (@chibchenko) January 5, 2019
What makes this deal work?
There is some sense behind the deal if you look behind the disappointment of another loan signing.
Celtic only have James Forrest down the right and a lack of serious competition. With Daniel Arzani injured for the season, the Hoops needed to recruit in that area anyway.
This should mean that the fans aren’t forced to endure dreadful displays from the likes of Jonny Hayes and Lewis Morgan when Celtic have to rotate.
With a title-race also a definite this season, it’s important the club make moves to just push themselves over the line first and foremost. Getting Burke in helps fill a key gap in the squad that needed strengthened, and gives their depth a little boost.
Burke, however, has plenty of winning over to do. The main gripe fans have is the short-term nature of the deal, meaning that he simply has to hit the ground running or else the signing is pointless.
There are examples in the past, however, of these kind of deals working out. The likes of Robbie Keane and Craig Bellamy proved to be decent players for six-months at Celtic before leaving at the end of their respective seasons. Both men provided a decent return for the club, and many would’ve liked to see them at Parkhead longer.
So it’s not as if this is a deal that is going to be a failure from the beginning. Burke has plenty of potential, and deserves the chance to prove it.
Fans may have expected more from their first signing announcement. It’s unfair, however, to judge the club’s performance in the window until the end of it, even if it hasn’t been an overwhelming start.
As for Burke, here’s hoping he can be a big success in Scotland in the short time that he’s here.