Manager Brendan Rodgers has stated that Oliver Burke will be fit for Celtic’s clash against Valencia on Thursday despite hobbling off against St Johnstone on Sunday.
The 21-year-old was substituted midway through the second half after an excellent performance that saw him create two assists for Scott Sinclair in a 5-0 victory.
Having scored three goals previously since making the switch from West Bromwich Albion, his attacking contribution has been exceptional and many are now expecting him to start against Valencia at Odsonne Edouard’s expense.
Rodgers told The Scotsman he will be in contention despite taking a knock, saying:
Oli took a knock to his ankle but we hope he’ll be okay. You see his intensity and the threat he gives us. He was absolutely fantastic today. He should be okay for Thursday.
Oli has shown and started to progress as we thought he could. He has wonderful attributes and his pressing sets a real tone.
He’ll be difficult to play against for anyone because the one thing that frightens defenders is pace. The speed he showed today is frightening really. It’s a joy to watch a Scottish player with that physicality and quality. There are things that he continues to work on, but he’s doing exceptionally well and he has to keep improving.
The raw power and pace of Burke is unmatched in the Celtic side and although Valencia are quality opposition, you’d fancy him to have the beating of most of their defenders in that department too.
His attitude is also spot on, willing to run himself into the ground for the Celtic cause, which is incredibly rare for a player at the club on a short-term loan deal.
Edouard has plenty attributes of his own that could cause Valencia problems on Thursday but given Burke’s form it’s difficult to justify dropping him for the UEFA Europa League clash.
I’m excited to see him test himself against a higher quality of opposition.