Alan Pattullo: Forgotten Oli Burke is in need of games

Oli Burke in action for Scotland against Cyprus at Hampden. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS
Oli Burke in action for Scotland against Cyprus at Hampden. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS
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It’s not as extreme a case as East Fife’s Henry Morris, who scored a hat-trick on his debut for Scotland against Northern Ireland in 1949 before, five weeks later, being dropped for the next match against Wales.

But a penny for West Bromwich Albion’s Oliver Burke’s thoughts. There can’t have been many cases of a player falling out of favour so quickly after scoring a 
winning goal for Scotland.

Just 12 weeks after prodding home the decisive strike against Cyprus after seeing his own header hit the post, Burke, Scotland’s most expensive ever player in terms of aggregate cost, is on the sidelines for both club and country.

Now 22, how often has he actually played 90 minutes? Only 11 times last season.

It’s another case of too much, too soon.

That’s not his fault. He didn’t fix the transfer fees. But it’s high time he started playing more regularly. That may now happen in Spain of all places. He agreed yesterday to join Alaves on a season-long loan deal, swapping England’s second tier for La Liga. He just needs games.