Oliver Burke’s signing in the January window came as a surprise as Celtic didn’t exactly need a winger and the Scotsman was struggling to get game time in the Championship. So much so that it was reported (The Scottish Sun) in October that the Baggies had put him on a special training regime to get him up to the pace of Championship football.
However, now it seems like the move was a good one as Burke has settled in well at the club and Rodgers has gone on to use him as a striker up front. The 21-year-old hasn’t played as a traditional striker. Instead, he has been given a free role to roam around in the attacking third and Burke has looked promising in his new position.
Recently Brendan Rodgers opened up about the possibility of signing Burke permanently in the summer and gave a piece of bad news to the Celtic fans as he said (Birmingham Mail), ”I think so. It would be great for Celtic if he did. (On being asked whether the chances of signing Burke were next to none.)
He also talked about how moving to Celtic is going to develop the 21-year-old. He said, ”We all know he can run like the wind, he’s powerful and he’s got physique but what did he do naturally? That was the bit we needed shining. There are things he can do better.”
”In this short period of time, I can see a lot of changes in his game without taking away what he is good at, which is running, working and pressing. He’s good technically and I’ve been delighted with him. It’s a great challenge for us to help him develop and we get the benefit.”
It’s clear that Brendan Rodgers likes him and the way Burke has performed at the club over the past month makes us feel like he has been at Parkhead for quite some time. It was always likely that West Brom would recall him back as they had spent a whopping £15m to sign him from RB Leipzig in the first place. Therefore the English club would want to see the Scotsman come good at the Hawthorns.
The winger still has time on his side as he is just 21 and there is a good chance that he could be playing in the Premier League by next season as the Baggies are one of the strongest contenders to move to the English top flight at the end of this campaign. Therefore, signing him permanently, was always going to be difficult and after the recent comments of the gaffer, it seems clear that there is no chance of Burke staying at Celtic Park beyond this season.