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Oliver Burke to Middlesbrough: Is it a good potential move? Would he start? What does he offer?

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It is going to be a crucial next few weeks for Chris Wilder as he analyses Middlesbrough’s squad in his first few games in charge and looks to identify areas that need addressing.

The timing of Wilder’s appointment gives him a good number of games to determine whether the players that he has got available will be enough to help him achieve success at the Riverside Stadium.

Given that Neil Warnock himself stated after his departure from Middlesbrough that the squad was two or three players short of being capable of really challenging for promotion, you would expect Wilder to be keen to bring in a couple of key signings in the winter window.

To that end, there are already a number of transfer rumours circulating over the type of targets that Boro could be set to pursue this January. It seems from the links so far that one or two extra attacking players are being looked for by the new Middlesbrough manager.

The latest report from TEAMtalk has revealed that Wilder is interested in potentially securing a move for Sheffield United forward Oliver Burke in the winter window. That comes with the new Middlesbrough boss keen to reunite with the player he brought to Bramall Lane in the summer of 2020.

The report also added that Burke himself could be keen to make the move to the Riverside Stadium and get the chance to work under Wilder once again.

So, with Burke on Boro’s radar, we analyse whether he would be a good signing for them, whether he would start and what he would offer…

Is it a good potential move?

A transfer from Sheffield Untied to Middlesbrough seems to be the perfect fit for all concerned with this potential deal.

Burke has found life very difficult at Bramall Lane this season with him struggling to convince new manager Slavisa Jokanovic that he can be suited to the way the Serbian wants his side to play. That has seen the attacker be limited to just three Championship appearances plus another two in the League Cup.

Sheffield United’s form, in general, has not been very impressive this season, so you would have thought Burke would have been afforded more chances under their current circumstances.

However, Burke was linked with a late exit from Sheffield United in the summer, but despite interest from both Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers a move failed to materialise for him. That does show though that the Blades are open to allowing him to leave the club.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, could do with a different more mobile option in the final third, which is something that Burke alongside Duncan Watmore would provide.

He is well suited to the way that Wilder wants his side to operate and you could see him being a handful in the Championship in the new Boro manager’s system.

This move would obviously also allow Burke the chance to work under a manager who has already shown faith in him in the past, rather than staying with Jokanovic who does not seem to have been convinced over his talents.

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Would he start?

Wilder does have plenty of options available to him in terms of who to start upfront should he
deploy the 3-5-2 that brought him so much success with Sheffield United.

The likes of Watmore, Josh Coburn, Uche Ikpeazu and Andraz Sporar will all fight it out for places in the starting line-up, while Onel Hernandez, Marcus Tavernier and Isaiah Jones will all need to fit as well somehow.

That means it is by no means a guarantee that Burke would be an automatic starter for Boro if he were to arrive from Bramall Lane in January. However, the attacker has already shown Wilder what he can do and the worries he can cause opponents with his pace and direct running in the last third.

Therefore, Burke would have as good a chance of any one of Middlesbrough’s attacking players to make it into this side on a regular basis. The fact that Wilder is so keen to sign him suggests that he might even have a slight edge on signings that have been made under previous managers at the Riverside Stadium.

What does he offer?

As aforementioned, Burke offers a lot more mobility and pace than some of Middlesbrough’s other options in the final third and he is someone that could be used to very good effect on the counter-attack against sides who do push forwards and keep a high line.

On his day, Burke can be a major handful for opposing defences and even Premier League sides did struggle to contain him when he made runs in behind them last season for Sheffield United. It was more his end product that let him down than anything else last term.

Burke is also a versatile player and he could provide the option for Wilder to play with three attacking players, or even be used as one of the front two. Therefore, he would provide the new Middlesbrough boss with the tools to give opponents something different to think about when needed.

The hope would also be that Burke will be able to realise his potential and bring more goals to the side. Having said that, his end product can sometimes be hit and miss, but if he got his confidence up there is the potential there for him to get on a scoring run.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Oliver Burke to Middlesbrough: Is it a good potential move? Would he start? What does he offer?

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