Oliver Burke has been coached wrong for years – and he’s now showing what he can really do in a central role for Celtic.
That’s the view of former Birmingham City forward and now Scotland assistant coach James McFadden who has talked up Burke’s chances of a recall to the national team.
The 21-year-old has flourished playing through the middle as a striker for Celtic after joining the Scottish Premiership leaders on loan from West Bromwich Albion in January.
A winger by trade, Burke has been shifted into the role by Brendan Rodgers and McFadden thinks the youngster is finally being told the right things at Parkhead.
McFadden told The Evening Times: “The biggest thing that was stopping him was he wasn’t playing. The way he has been playing since he came up has been brilliant. You can see that he is developing a game sense.
“Some of his play has been, maybe not eye-catching, but he is holding it up, he is bringing others into play and he is making good movements that you would expect a striker to play.
“Maybe when Oli was younger because he was so strong and quick, coaches would say ‘oh, he is a winger, we’ll just stick him out wide. We’ll not teach him anything.
“We’ll just stick him out wide and give him the ball’. And that happens to a lot of fast players like Oli who have an athletic body shape.
“I imagine he has not had an awful lot of instruction because of that. Just give it to Oli and he’ll do the rest. It is learning. It is alright telling a player do this and do that.”
Burke became Albion’s record signing when he was recruited from RB Leipzig for £15m in 2017 but has struggled for game time at The Hawthorns having made just four league starts since.
But since returning north of the border, the former Nottingham Forest man has made 11 appearances in little more than a month.
McFadden added: “It is alright training and coaching but if you are training every day without going into a game, you are not making enough mistakes that will make a difference.
“We are excited about him and he has been on the radar for a long time but until someone plays him a run of games then how can you really judge them?”