Misfiring Scotland striker Oli McBurnie could be converted into a makeshift centre-half after Richard Gough comparison

Misfiring Scotland striker Oli McBurnie could be converted into a makeshift defender after being jokingly compared to former Rangers captain Richard Gough.

Scotland striker Oli McBurnie could be converted into a makeshift Sheffield United centre-half due to a defensive crisis. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Sheffield United front man has struggled in front of goal lately, failing to hit the net in 14 appearances for the national side, and has only scored once in the Premier League this season with Chris Wilder’s side rooted to the foot of the table.

With United facing a defensive crisis due to a spate of injuries and suspensions, the Blades boss joked that he could start McBurnie in defence against Southampton on Saturday after the 6ft 2in striker played an important role in helping his side see out a 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday following the red card to Phil Jagielka.

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"It's ridiculous the problems we've got there," said Wilder. "Oli Mac, he's there, up against Danny Ings on Saturday, big Oli, there you are giving my team away - who else can I pick?

"Oli Mac, the big Scottish centre-half, he might have to go in there. He was like Richard Gough at the end after he came on, heading everything away and helping us get across the line.

"Joking aside, I'm not sure what we will do. But we will have to come up with something because it's head down and get on with it, the same as always."

McBurnie has struggled to win over the Scotland fans and was subjected to criticism after missing a glorious chance to break his international duck in a 1-0 defeat at Slovakia in the UEFA Nations League in November.

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