Sheffield United Opinion: The Blades must take a punt on Oli McBurnie
According to a report from the Star, Swansea City star Oliver McBurnie is one of newly-promoted Sheffield United’s top transfer targets this summer.
The Scotland international, 23, scored 24 goals in all competitions for the Swans last season. He is also wanted by his former Swansea manager Graham Potter, who left the Liberty Stadium to join Premier League side Brighton at the end of last season, the report adds.
But Sheffield United must do everything to their powers to beat Brighton and sign Oliver McBurnie ahead of the new campaign.
The Blades secured promotion to the Premier League last season but Chris Wilder will be extremely keen to add goals to his side as they seek to make a good fist of their return to the top-flight.
The departures of Gary Madine, Scott Hogan and Conor Washington from Bramall Lane at the end of last term has left Wilder with just Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick as options up front.
Sharp and McGoldrick formed a strong partnership up top in the Championship, as Wilder preferred a system with two strikers. However, both are in their 30s and they need more competition to challenge themselves in the Premier League. Squad depth is a must, especially for a newly-promoted side and United doesn’t seem to have that at the moment.
Thus, Wilder must sign at least one new striker to bolster his forward department and McBurnie would be the right choice.
A fast, sharp and agile striker noted for his athleticism, supreme upper body strength and aerial ability, McBurnie is an excellent finisher in front of goal and a threat from set-pieces in the box. He is not only adept at scoring at will but he is also more than capable of using short exchanges to link up with his teammates.
The Scotsman also catches the eye with his poaching instincts and awareness in front of goal, having showcased the ability to find the net with both feet and head last season in Swansea colours.
However, McBurnie has had limited exposure to the Premier League and has never scored in the top-flight earlier. Thus, that makes him a big risk for Wilder’s club.
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But the 23-year-old striker would provide Wilder with an extra attacking option to choose from and has shown a lot of promise to make the step up to the Premier League level.
McBurnie now looks to be ready for Premier League football and at 23, the time might just be right for him to move from Swansea and test himself on the bigger stage.