Celtic flop Oliver Burke aiming to become La Liga hero

By David Walton

September 19, 2019

Former Celtic flop Oliver Burke has claimed that he wants to be a La Liga star with Alaves this season.

Burke spent the second half of last season on loan at Parkhead. After a first half of the campaign at West Bromwich Albion where he made only six appearances, his career then led him to Glasgow.

Burke started life well in Scotland in all fairness. He bagged a brace in his first Premiership game against St Mirren. However, his lack of technical ability soon showed. He ended the campaign with only four goals in green-and-white, and hardly got a look in under Neil Lennon.

Oliver Burke couldn’t make it work at Celtic (Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

But it’s yet another fresh start for the Scotland international. Speaking in the Daily Record, he clearly has big plans for his loan stint in Spain too.

“I feel I am getting more involved with the squad little by little. Obviously, the language is a barrier for me at the moment, but I will learn it.

“There’s a lot of potential in the squad and I could see that just with the 45 minutes I got the other day. I hope everyone has a bit of patience with me because it may take some time to adapt to a new style of football for me.

“But this is one of the best leagues in world football, if not the best. I have come here to grow as a footballer and as a person and to help the team get as far up the table as I can.”

Burke needs to shrug off athlete tag

There’s an idea that Burke is more of an athlete than a footballer, and it’s a fair one too. The right-winger is an athletic, pacey player. However, when it comes to technique on the ball, without dressing it up, it’s absolutely shocking.

You can tell the former Nottingham Forest and Leipzig man hasn’t been coached properly growing up. He’s already on his sixth football club at just 22. He needs to find somewhere to settle down and play regularly. Hopefully, Alaves can prove to be that place.

Burke needs to find a permanent home (Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

There was certainly never a chance of Celtic signing him outright last summer. He just wasn’t confident enough in any of his 17 appearances in Glasgow. Added to that, Burke has been tainted by his transfer tags.

Firstly, he signed for RB Leipzig for a quite ridiculous fee of £13million (Sky Sports). After failing to make the grade in Germany, he moved back to England with West Brom for £15m (Daily Mail). That’s a reported £28m worth of transfer fees.

Burke shouldn’t be back here unless there’s big improvements (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s horrible pressure for a player with such little technique to have, but hopefully he finds his way in Spain. He made his debut in the 1-0 defeat against Sevilla last weekend. However, clearly, he’s happy where he is for now.

Burke’s attitude was never a problem at Parkhead. But will we ever see him back? It’s going to have to take plenty of improvement from him to ever earn a move here again.