With Steve Clarke’s struggling Scots camped right on the edge of their own penalty area as Russia knocked the ball around with ease, their only hope of providing a threat at the other end rested squarely on the shoulders of a winger shoved into an ill-fitting centre-forward role.
You can see Clarke’s thinking. Burke is fast and powerful and, with Russia’s defence pushing up high, there was ample space for him to run into like a Kirkcaldy-born Jamie Vardy. But while Leicester’s number nine possesses brilliant ball control and awareness, those are two attributes Burke is severely lacking.
The 22-year-old scored just four goals in 19 games during a loan spell at Celtic from West Bromwich Albion last season and Hoops fans everywhere suffered some rather unpleasant flashbacks when Burke sprinted aimlessly into cul-de-sacs and gave the ball away almost every time he had possession.
Scotland lost 4-0 and Burke was subbed off at half-time.
Speaking to the Scotsman in February, a winger who has cost £28 million so far in his career admitted that he would have loved to join Celtic permanently. On last night’s evidence, The Hoops were right to think otherwise.
Thank the lord, Celtic didn’t buy Oliver Burke.— Paul (@paulybhoy82) October 10, 2019
How bad is Oli Burke— CelticBhoy1888 (@Bhoy1888Celtic1) October 10, 2019
Just said that I a group chat. Absolute imposter. Jumps for a header 5 yards away from the ball. Can hardly control a ball.— Paul mooney (@mooneypaul1) October 10, 2019
Couldn’t trap an anvil— Philip Goodwin-Bolingoli (@philipgoodwin11) October 10, 2019
Absolutely awful player✌— Sean Mclaughlin (@seanmac1967) October 10, 2019
Oliver Burke is abysmal— Kevin Izat (@KevinIzat) October 10, 2019
Have something to tell us about this article?