BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
JOHN HARTSON has questioned Oliver Burke’s decision to move to the German Bundesliga – insisting he would have been better joining Burnley or West Brom.
The Wales legend has watched with interest as Burke’s rise to prominence draws comparisons with his superstar countryman Gareth Bale, with the Kirkcaldy-born winger landing a £13 million switch to Red Bull Leipzig.
However, Hartson believes the player should have set his sights on the Barclay’s Premier League, and believes Scotland manager Gordon Strachan will be of a similar mind.
“He’s gone over to Germany and I can’t understand that. I think that stinks of agents more than anything else. I would much rather see a young Scottish talent playing in the Premier League,” said a candid Hartson.
“How much of German football do we all see? We see highlights of Bayern and Dortmund and that’s about it. The Premier League is the place to be.
“He’s gone to Leipzig, but what about a Burnley or a Sunderland or a West Brom? It’s only my opinion, but I think he is good enough to have joined the Premier League and I would have like to see him there.
“The Premier League would have tested him and I think that would have probably suited Gordon [Strachan] – he could have had a better look at him. Who watches the German league?”
Nevertheless, he hopes to see the precocious youngster realise his potential.
Hartson added: “What Gordon [Strachan] said to me was: ‘We need a Gareth Bale.’ Scotland need an outstanding player, they haven’t got one world class player, in my opinion.
“Wales haven’t got many, we’ve probably only got two in terms of Bale and Ramsay. They’re not easy to find.
“What he was trying to say is Olly Burke has the potential if he fulfills it to go on and become world class. But saying it to actually doing it are two different things.”