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Crystal Palace Opinion: Eagles should sign Oliver Burke in the summer

According to the Daily Record, Crystal Palace are interested in signing Celtic loanee Oliver Burke in the summer, with the Eagles’ Scottish Sporting Director Dougie Freedman reportedly an admirer of the 21-year-old attacker.

The same report claims that Celtic also want to turn Burke’s loan spell into a permanent deal but the Hoops will face stiff competition from Roy Hodgson’s side.

A product of Nottingham Forest’s youth system, Burke made a big-money move to the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig but he returned to English football with West Brom in the summer of 2017 for a fee of £14 million.

He was tipped for big things at West Brom but the 21-year-old was neglected significantly by former manager Darren Moore prior to his January loan switch to Parkhead.

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Burke managed just three substitute appearances for the Baggies in the Championship this term but he has rejuvenated himself at Celtic since the turn of the year, scoring 5 goals in 14 outings for Neil Lennon’s side. His change of fortune and red-hot form have urged Celtic to sign him permanently at the end of the season and now Palace have also entered the race to land the Scottish starlet.

Essentially a right-winger by trade, Burke is also capable of playing out wide on the left and through the centre. Predominantly a right-footed player who is noted for his pace, power, acceleration and flair on the ball, Burke has an intricate first touch and wonderful ball control which allow him to keep the ball at his feet and run at his opposite number.

When deployed on the left as an inverted winger, Burke likes to cut inside with his stronger right foot, either picking out the right pass for his teammates or having a crack on goal himself. The Scotsman, though a bit raw and rough-edged, looks like a very flamboyant player when he plays with conviction.

To put things into perspective, Crystal Palace should go all out to sign the Scottish prodigy in the summer to bolster their forward line. Hodgson is a hugely experienced manager who knows how to extract the best out of the young players and Burke should be able to take his game to a new level under his tutelage.

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Palace’s struggle for goals in the Premier League this season has been quite apparent, and although they have the likes of Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend as regular faces down the wide areas, Burke’s versatility to play on either flank and also as a striker up front should make him a useful addition to the squad. Given that Hodgson has often preferred a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 system, Burke would also provide competition for the likes of Jeffrey Schlupp, James McArthur and Max Meyer in the midfield.

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Still very much in the developmental phase of his career, Burke is not quite the finished article but he has enough raw talent to develop into a future star. Working with Roy Hodgson in the Premier League should appeal to the player and there is no reason why Palace shouldn’t go forward with the deal.

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