When 19-year-old Oliver Burke joined Red Bull Leipzig from Nottingham Forest this summer, plenty of British football fans were surprised and disappointed to miss out on the Scotland youngster.
According to BBC Sport, the German side paid an estimated fee of around £13 million – which would be a record sum of money for a Scottish footballer. And when you check out his game tape, it is easy to see why Leipzig took a gamble on him…
Labelled by some as the “Scottish Gareth Bale”, Burke has settled immediately into life in Germany. In fact, the 19-year-old came off the bench to make his debut against Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund and assisted Naby Keita’s winning goal in the 89th minute.
If Burke continues to improve, he could develop into a fine talent; especially whilst playing against some of the most technically gifted players in the world. It is certainly a major step-up from plying his trade for Nottingham Forest in the Championship.
As of September 13th, Leipzig are sitting pretty in fifth place and Burke will be keen to help the newly-promoted side maintain their Bundesliga status this season. It won’t be easy but Leipzig are building a monster at the Red Bull Arena and Burke could be their flagship project for many years to come.
At the time of writing, Leipzig are 14/1 in the most recent Bundesliga betting odds to suffer relegation this campaign and Burke will expect to play a key role as they look to avoid the drop – he certainly looks like he is enjoying his football right now.
— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) September 10, 2016
Last season, Burke was sublime for Forest and he almost looked destined for a move to a bigger club this summer. And even though he was linked with a transfer to some of the biggest sides in Europe, Burke continued to shine for the Nottingham side at the beginning of this season, netting four goals in five Championship contests.
On average, the 19-year-old completes an average of 3.4 successful dribbles per game, records 2.2 shots per match and he can line up anywhere along the front – his versatility will prove useful throughout the campaign.
If nothing else, Leipzig will benefit directly from his prowess in attacking areas and his ‘no-fear’ attitude will give Ralph Hasenhuttl another competent option upfront… and the former Forest man will be keen to hold down a regular spot in the Leipzig starting line-up this season.
Should Burke continue to adjust and adapt to the pace of the Bundesliga, the Scottish starlet will improve and develop into a fine young talent. In fact, he could be Scotland’s next elite footballer – particularly if he is able to attract attention on the international scene
At 19, Burke has time to develop and seems to have a bright future ahead of him; keep an eye on his and Leipzig’s progress throughout the campaign.