The 25-year-old played in the Blades’ opening three games of the 2021/22 campaign as he looked set to be a regular under Slavisa Jokanovic – but he quickly fell out of favour with the Serbian and with Paul Heckingbottom failing to utilise him either – he was allowed to go out on loan to Millwall in January.
Scoring two goals and recording one assist in 13 appearances for the Lions, he only made a limited impact on paper but still impressed many during his spell in the English capital.
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With this, Gary Rowett’s side are believed to be in talks to recruit him on a permanent basis, with the Lions already reported to have submitted a £1.5m bid for Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson.
As well as their midfield area, their forward department needs to be addressed too following Benik Afobe’s return to Stoke City and they have seemingly identified Burke as one player that could help to fill the void left by the former Arsenal man.
However, United manager Heckingbottom has revealed no bids have been submitted for Burke despite talks with Rowett and hinted that he may even keep him at Bramall Lane beyond the summer.
He said: “I have spoken to Gary and Burkey about it but he’s our player.
“Unless it makes sense, it’s pointless. I’m relaxed. There’s interest but no bid.
“It was right for Burkey to go and play games. But he would have got more game time if he stayed with how it played out.”
Although Heckingbottom is right to say he would have had more first-team opportunities if he had remained at Bramall Lane, that’s only because they endured a major injury crisis in the forward department.
He may be a good first-team option to have for next season because the likes of David McGoldrick and Lys Mousset have left – but if the Blades address this area and only play one up top for much of next term – it would be difficult to see Burke playing a key part.
This is why the player should be pushing hard for a move away this summer to provide him with a fresh start – and Millwall could be the ideal destination for the 25-year-old where he would be a valued first-team player.
At this stage, there’s uncertainty surrounding Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster and this is one reason why the Blades may be wise to keep Burke, because he could provide Heckingbottom with another option and potentially even the chance to operate with two up front.
But if they can recruit adequately in the forward area to fill gaps, they should be looking to sell the 25-year-old because his spell at Bramall Lane just hasn’t worked out for the best.