I rarely talk about transfer rumours because it is futile, pointless and a total waste of my time and yours. But the Oliver Burke transfer is an exception.
The original rumour regarding our interest in Scottish international Oliver Burke started at the weekend. As with most rumours I glanced at the headline and skipped over it deciding I’d pay more interested when or if we sign him.
As time went on manager Frank de Boer confirmed that Burke is someone that he is interested in and this aroused my interest.
Burke became known to me just over a year ago when he transferred from Nottingham Forest to RB Leipzig. At the time it was big news because he had just turned 19 and was plucked the Championship to an ambitious Bundesliga side.
I was aware that Burke played on he right wing and it was this that made me curious because as I am sure you will be aware, it is on the wing that we don’t seem to have any problems.
Apart from senior wingers such as Zaha, Townsend, Sako and Lee we have youth prospects such as Kaikai, Lokilo and Kirby.
Baring in mind that Frank de Boer and Steve Parish want to give youth a chance why would be interested in signing a new winger when we have other positions that are a higher priority?
I posed this question on Twitter and received a few replies which indicated that Burke could play at right wing-back. This made sense because we need someone who can play in that position but I didn’t manage to find anything to suggest that Burke has played in that position for either Leipzig or Scotland.
Next, a few days ago we appointed Dougie Freedman as Sporting Director and I drew the conclusion that because Freedman was Burke’s manager at Nottingham Forest that maybe he would push through the transfer as he knew the player.
Finally, at the time of writing, today came the news that Burke had or was travelling to Birmingham to have talks and a medical with West Brom.
This made me wonder about a few things, in particular reaffirming the reason why I don’t like dealing with transfer rumours.
- Maybe Burke and Freedman’s relationship wasn’t that good and it actually hindered our progress not helped it.
- Maybe as Burke was a Forest before, he would like to return to the Midlands/Black Country area rather than be in London.
- Maybe Burke would rather play in his natural position on the wing than be converted into a wing-back, which is the position it is rumoured we’d deploy him in.
- There is no confirmation that Burke’s transfer to West Brom is permanent or a loan move. maybe Leipzig only want to loan him but we only want a permanent deal for him.
I know these points are just ‘pissing in the wind’ but that is precisely why I hate writing about transfer rumours. We might not have made an offer at all. Maybe the West Brom story is just that. A story designed to make us make a serious offer.
That aside, why would we try to buy a winger for £15m when we have 7 on the books? We have 4 senior wingers and 3 up and coming players who are said to be the next big thing.
It makes no sense why we would blow so much money when we have other positions which we are desperate to strengthen.
I hate commentating on transfer rumours so we’ll look at this as trying to work out our transfer policy instead.