West Bromwich Albion’s big money signing of young winger Oliver Burke hasn’t exactly gone to plan for anyone involved so far. Having arrived from RB Leipzig for a reported £15million back in the summer of 2017, the 22-year-old only has five starting appearances to his name, with 19 showings from the substitutes bench and he’s spent time out on loan at both Celtic and Alaves.
With him being out of favour under numerous managers now, even Burke has spoken about hoping his time at Alaves will ‘put him back in the shop window’ as he angles for a move, but current head coach Slaven Bilic continues to believe he has a role to play at The Hawthorns.
“Of course I see his future at Albion. Same with Jonathan Leko, same with Sam Field, same with the players who went on loan. For me it would be much easier to avoid this kind of situation when we have both left-backs out for a month, I could keep Burke if he was a left back, it would be easier to say ‘you stay here’, but that’s not good for the player. And it’s not good long-term for the club. That’s why it’s the same principle with Ollie, go there and prove yourself and come back and say you want to play here. I can only talk about my time with him here, it was only a few weeks to be fair. A good professional, he’s got everything. He shows you everything that he’s got on paper, he shows you in training, but not consistent.”
Clearly Bilic has laid the challenge down to him, and again it’s over to Burke to prove his worth and make himself part of the plans moving forward – the question as ever is simply, will he?