This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
Middlesbrough have opened talks to sign Oliver Burke from Sheffield United, according to Football Insider.
Burke joined United from West Brom in a swap deal involving Callum Robinson last summer, scoring one goal in 25 appearances in the Premier League last season.
This term, the 24-year-old has made three appearances in the Championship, but was left out of the squad which faced Huddersfield Town in their most recent fixture.
Reports from The Sun have recently claimed that Slavisa Jokanovic is looking to offload Burke before the end of the transfer window.
According to Football Insider, Middlesbrough have now entered discussions to sign Burke before the transfer window closes.
Here, we discuss Boro’s interest in the attacker…
Depending on the finances involved in this potential deal it could be a smart signing for Middlesbrough to make as they search for more firepower and creativity in the final third.
Burke is a player that has a lot still to prove having endured a difficult spell at Sheffield United and West Brom. However, there have always been glimpses of the qualities that he offers in terms of his pace and directness in the final third.
Neil Warnock might be the right manager to unlock Burke’s potential with him being vastly experienced in putting an arm around talented players and pushing them on to deliver consistent performances.
The attacker potentially would benefit from a move to Middlesbrough and a chance to have a fresh start somewhere he will be handed regular chances to start this season.
It is a deal that would free up funds for Sheffield United and allow them to invest in their squad before the deadline and also provide Boro with extra attacking quality they need. It might therefore be a deal that works out for all concerned.
I think he could be worth a punt for Middlesbrough this summer.
Admittedly his goal record isn’t the best, especially when he’s only found the back of the net twice in his time with Sheffield United.
But he strikes me as a confidence-based player, and Neil Warnock could be the ideal manager to help Burke recapture his best run of form.
It’s already been reported that Sheffield United are willing to cash-in on Burke this summer, as they look to trim their attacking options.
This could play into Middlesbrough’s hands, as they could offer the Blades a cut-price fee for any potential agreement.
Uche Ikpeazu has made a positive start to life with Boro, but competition for places is never a bad dilemma to have for a manager, and Burke’s potential arrival could see the best out of both players.
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I think it’s fair to say that Burke hasn’t exactly lived up to his potential so far after securing that big-money move to RB Leipzig, and when he returned to England for West Brom he was a major let-down.
Sheffield United still saw something in him though to bring him to Bramall Lane and even though he probably proved last season that he wasn’t quite up to it at Premier League level, there’s no reason why he can’t have a big impact in the Championship.
Burke just needs some belief and I think that Neil Warnock could be the perfect manager to get the best out of the 24-year-old.
Warnock constantly improves players under his management and if he manages to secure a deal for Burke I have no doubts that he will become a better all-round player.
Boro are clearly desperate for a new winger and with a deal for Mitchell van Bergen falling through, this seems like a decent alternative and if he’s on form, Burke on one side with Marcus Tavernier on the other could be very dangerous.