Marian Shved and Oliver Burke play in exactly the same natural position at right-wing, so what would the former’s signing mean for the latter?
Burke, of course, was Celtic’s first signing of January in a six-month loan deal at the start of the month. The West Bromwich Albion-owned man immediately looked like being a competitor for James Forrest’s position.
Yet, fast forward a few weeks on, and it looks as though the club are about to sign another. Shved is reportedly closing in on a Celtic deal, according to reports in Ukraine.
He’s certainly an exciting prospect too. The winger is already a full international for Ukraine, and has eight goals and three assists in his 18 outings this season. He certainly looks like someone who could come in and make an impact immediately. But you have to imagine he would be Forrest’s main competition.
And that, in turn, opens up an interesting question on Burke and his position. It makes little sense to have three players vying for one right-wing position – especially considering Forrest will play most weeks without question.
Burke has experience in multiple positions
Burke, however, also has experience of playing down the left flank and as a number 10. Using his power to drag his side forward on the counter-attack, Burke has some real quality that’s ideal for several positions. Does Brendan Rodgers therefore see Burke roaming all over the attacking midfield?
There is also the option that the Scotland internationalist plays up front. His attributes, however, certainly aren’t suited to the position. He showed real promise against Airdrie, but not enough technical ability to play up top on his own.
Shved’s arrival, however, surely can’t mean that we have three players battling down the right. Burke’s versatility could be a massive weapon here, and that could be how Rodgers sees him. Almost as if he doesn’t have one position at Celtic, but three or four.
Of course, we’ve all to see what Shved actually brings to Parkhead. He’s still to have his signing confirmed, and his fitness levels may not be at the best. His last game came on December 8th, one week after Vakoun Issouf Bayo’s final game. Therefore, it could take him some time to get him up to speed too.
But what does this mean for Burke? Is he going to be someone who pitches up all over the attacking midfield where necessary? Is he going to be in a battle with Shved an Forrest alone? What do you think Rodgers’ plans for Burke are this season if Shved arrives?