Crystal Palace are set to renew their interest in former Nottingham Forest and RB Leipzig winger Oliver Burke, after missing out on his signature last summer.
The promising Scotland international enjoyed a mixed first season at the German club, with RB Leipzig unexpectedly challenging for the Bundesliga title in their first top-flight campaign. Only missing out on glory to juggernauts Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig played some of the best attacking football in the league. Burke played his minor part from the substitutes bench, but understandably couldn’t dislodge the formidable Emil Forsberg, Naby Keita and Timo Werner.
It was expected Burke would be moving to the Premier League last summer after being heavily linked with a move away from Nottingham Forest. Still relatively unknown at the time, RB Leipzig seemed a strange move for a player widely tipped to succeed in the English top-flight. One of the clubs strongly linked were Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace, who were keen on striking a favourable deal with the City Ground club.
After completing his €15 million move to Germany last summer, Burke featured for his country at senior level but fell out of the picture for his club. He made 25 appearances in his first season in Leipzig, mainly appearing from the bench. He registered a solitary goal and two assists for the side. German sports media outlet Kicker report Palace’s interest is ‘concrete’ and a permanent transfer would be considered by RB Leipzig. The German club would expect to recoup the entirety of the outlay they spent last summer.
Palace boss Frank de Boer will be well aware of his thin-looking squad and Burke will offer a youthful guile in attack. The 20-year old may favour a swift return to England despite RB Leipzig maintaining the player has a future at the club. Considering the injury to star player Wilfried Zaha, the Eagles will need stronger back-up options than Bakary Sako and Chung-Yong Lee. Burke represents an exciting prospect with bags of potential. He should fit the mould of the profile of player Palace wish to sign, once again falling below the 21 year-old age bracket. The squad clearly needs refreshing all over the pitch. As much an improvement as this signing would be, it does fall below bigger priorities for the club to strengthen in. A goalkeeper, centre-back, right-back and striker are more vital in my opinion.