For the second year in a row Scotland have made it to the semi-finals of the Toulon Festival in southern France. It has been an excellent achievement from the nation’s youngsters yet again, despite being knocked out by old foe England again. Yesterday they lost their third-fourth place playoff game with Turkey on penalties. In the end, it was a missed penalty from captain Oliver Burke that proved decisive.
But West Brom fans should not let this moment concern them. Because, based on his performances in France this summer, there is plenty to be excited about for next season.
Burke has struggled since arriving from RB Leipzig in August last year. A £15 million signing, the hope was he could add some dynamism to the Baggies attack. But he rarely featured at the Hawthorns. Starts were at a premium, with the majority of his 15 games in the Premier League coming as a substitute.
However, in France this summer Burke has been brilliant for the Scotland side. He was given the captain’s armband by Scott Gemmill and thrived in his leadership role. With schoolboys in the team like Billy Gilmour it was important he led by example and that’s exactly what the winger did.
West Brom hardly saw any of Burke last season but a drop to the Championship could see him find his own again. Just ask any defender who came up against Burke during his time in the Championship with Nottingham Forest and the impact he can have at this level will become rapidly clear.
Next season, he could be like a brand new £15 million signing for Darren Moore and the Baggies.