Exclusive: Kevin Phillips claims West Brom attacker 'hasn't lived up to his potential'
We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips has admitted that he forgot that Oliver Burke was still a West Brom player and claims that the Scotland international has failed to meet expectations in the Black Country.
Burke, 23, was signed by Tony Pulis in 2017 when he joined the Baggies from RB Leipzig in a deal worth £15million [Daily Mail].
When he arrived at The Hawthorns, there was a great deal of excitement as he has previously done really well at Nottingham Forest and played a role in an exciting side in Leipzig.
However Burke has done very little of note for the Baggies and struggled to play under Pulis, Alan Pardew and Darren Moore before he was sent out on loan to Celtic last January.
In Glasgow, Burke was played mainly as a centre-forward but didn’t hit the heights that were expected of him in a treble-winning team before he was loaned out to Spanish club Alaves in the summer.
In La Liga, Burke has scored one goal in 21 appearances, starting just seven times. However, that hasn’t stopped Alaves from registering their interest in signing the Scottish attacker on a permanent basis once his loan is over [AS].
Ex-West Brom forward Phillips has been disappointed by what he’s seen from Burke since he joined the Baggies, especially because of the price that was paid for him.
“It’s a strange one with him. He was certainly a player on our radar when I was at Derby. We enquired about getting him on loan,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“We saw potential because he was an exciting player and I’m not surprised he went for that sort of money to West Brom, but you would have to say he’s been disappointing.
“He just hasn’t settled, hasn’t lived up to his potential. You’d like to think that when he gets older and matures a bit, he might start showing those qualities.
“I’d forgotten all about him but I’m not going to call him a flop – I don’t like to use that word – but he certainly hasn’t lived up to the fee and the potential that he’s got. Hopefully, in time, he will but as a West Brom fan and the club itself, they’d be disappointed that they haven’t got what they paid for.”
Phillips might not like to use the word flop – but that’s exactly how the majority of West Brom fans would see Burke.
The former Forest attacker has been a massive waste of money but you could see why the club was so willing to splash out £15million for him.
He’d not long turned 20-years-old and had been ever-present for Forest and Leipzig as well as earning his first senior cap with Scotland.
It just hasn’t worked out for him for one reason or another but it hasn’t exactly worked out for him at Celtic and Alaves either, which suggests the issue lies with the player and not West Brom.
In other West Brom news, Martin Tyler has shared what he likes about The Hawthorns.