This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
It appears that West Bromwich Albion will see the return of Oliver Burke at the end of the season as Spanish football journalist Alex Kirkland believes his loan club, La Liga side Alaves, won’t make the move permanent.
Burke joined the Hawthorns for a club-record £15m fee back in 2017 when ex-manager Tony Pulis signed him from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.
Ever since then, the 22-year-old has failed to live up to the expectations that such money commands, scoring just once in 24 appearances.
After Slaven Bilic joined the club in the summer, it was soon clear to understand that Burke was never going to feature in his plans as academy prospect Kyle Edwards was promoted to the senior side, leading to him starting the first three Championship matches.
He was soon shipped out on loan to Alaves, where he has played just 332 minutes across nine appearances.
Speaking to the Express & Star about his temporary spell, Kirkland – from the Spanish Football Podcast – said:
“I’d say at this stage a permanent deal is quite unlikely.
“He’s probably not starting enough games to warrant that or contributing enough in the final third.
“But there’s still plenty of time for him to make an impact, it’s early days.”
It seems likely that the Scotsman will return to the west Midlands this summer, which would put Bilic in a bit of a predicament.
The Croatian clearly doesn’t fancy Burke in his side, for whatever reason that may be, as he made measures to sign a trio of wingers on deadline day in Matheus Pereira, Grady Diangana and Chris Willock.
Come the end of the current campaign, the Baggies flop will still have two years remaining on his contract, which is a potential source of bad news for Bilic.
Watch West Bromwich Albion Videos With StreamFootball.tv Below
If the 14th-placed La Liga side were the only team willing to take him, what hope does he have in recuperating the extortionate fee they paid for him?
It will be more problematic if they gain promotion too as if he can’t get in their Championship side, then there’s next to no chance he does it in the top-flight.
This is something that Bilic could probably do without.