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‘Would make a lot of sense’ – Middlesbrough eyeing move for Sheffield United outcast: The verdict

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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 are interested in a potential January move for Sheffield United attacker Oliver Burke, as per yesterday’s TEAMtalk report.

The 24-year-old made a respectable 25 Premier League appearances for the Blades last term, but has only appeared three times in the second tier under Slavisa Jokanovic this season, with the Serbian reported not to have him in his plans alongside teammate Chris Basham.

Considering his ability to play out wide and Jokanovic’s lack of orthodox options in this position, his lack of playing time could be seen as something of a surprise, and that reinforces how bleak the future currently looks for the Scottish international at Bramall Lane.

Quiz: Have Middlesbrough ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?

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Valley Parade

With his current boss on the search for two wingers and a holding midfielder during January, Burke could potentially move in the other direction in his quest for more playing time despite only joining the club last summer, capping off another unsuccessful spell after failing to make a real impact at RB Leipzig and West Bromwich Albion in the past five years.

He will be hoping a potential reunion with Chris Wilder, whom he worked with at Bramall Lane before the 54-year-old’s departure in March, will be key in kickstarting his career.

But looking at this from a Middlesbrough point of view, we asked three of our writers at Football League World whether they believe he would be a good signing on Teesside – and if he’s a much-needed figure at the Riverside.

Jordan Rushworth

This would be a signing that would make a lot of sense for Middlesbrough because Oliver Burke is already very familiar with Chris Wilder’s methods and he is well suited to the style of play that the new Boro boss is set to try and implement at the Riverside.

Burke would provide Boro with another kind of option up front and he has the ability to stretch opponents in behind with his pace.

That could be vital for Middlesbrough during the second half of the campaign, while the attacker’s versatility of being able to operate in numerous positions in the final third will also be very useful.

The attacker clearly needs to get away from Sheffield United after he has been unable to fully convince Slavisa Jokanovic over his qualities.

He would likely be very keen to make the move to Boro and reunite with a manager in Wilder who has shown faith in him during his career at Bramall Lane.

It is a signing that could turn out to be an excellent one for Middlesbrough if he can hit the ground running and improve his end product in the last third. This is a move that you can certainly see happening in the winter window.

Billy Mulley

I am not entirely convinced that this is a move that would work out, but there are definitely reasons as to why it could all pan out.

Oliver Burke is a player whose pace and power causes defences all sorts of problems in the final third, and if he can regain his confidence, then he could go on to enjoy an excellent second half of the season.

At Boro, they already have strong attacking options, with Uche Ikpeazu, Andraz Sporar, Josh Coburn and Duncan Watmore, and then on the wings they are also well-stocked.

I think Burke would be a good signing at Championship level for a side who are lacking in options in the attacking third, but Boro to me, do not seem like one of those sides.

However, this is the second attacker they have been linked with already under Chris Wilder, which could mean, and this is pure speculation, that he is not entirely happy with his attacking options.

Charlie Gregory

Oli Burke being signed by any team has to be a questionable one at this point.

The forward has looked bright on occasion, which makes it more frustrating that he hasn’t been able to establish himself as a regular first-team player at a side yet or hit the same heights consistently.

If any manager can get the best out of him though, then it has to be Chris Wilder.

Burke has the makings of a good, solid Championship player. The issue is finding that player in a forward that has bounced from club to club and never quite got going.

If they can do so, then it will prove to be a good signing for Boro.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Would make a lot of sense’ – Middlesbrough eyeing move for Sheffield United outcast: The verdict

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