Oliver Burke has largely been known as a winger or a central attacking midfielder throughout his career, and while he has played as a striker on occasion he has never really done it – and succeeded – on a consistent basis.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has clearly seen something in the 21-year-old to suggest that he can do a job there, seeing as that is where he has largely been deployed since arriving from West Bromwich Albion on loan until the end of the season during the January transfer window.
Injury issues for Odsonne Edouard have left the Scottish Premiership holders short up top recently, and the Northern Irish manager has chosen to use the Nottingham Forest youth graduate to fill the void – as he did for the visit of Valencia to Parkhead in the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday night.
Burke was showing some good signs that his boss had made a genius move after scoring three goals and providing a further two assists in seven outings, and that was enough for him to get the nod ahead of Edouard and fellow new arrival Timothy Weah against the La Liga outfit.
It wasn’t a great night for him personally or the club though as they were easily beaten 2-0 by the Spanish side, and the Scotland U21 international’s stats didn’t make for great reading.
The forward failed to produce a single shot or key pass in his 90 minutes on the pitch, while he only had an accuracy of just over 74% when he attempted to move the ball on to a teammate.
As well as failing to win a single aerial duel, he also suffered from bad control on three occasions, and his night was rounded off when he was booked for catching a Valencia player with an alleged high boot.
While Burke has done more than a good job in the centre-forward role in recent fixtures, now looks to be the time for Rodgers to abandon his experiment and put the 21-year-old back out wide in the role he knows best, and restore Edouard to the starting line-up through the centre.