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Steve Clarke wants to remove price-tag pressure on West Brom forward Oliver Burke

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Oliver Burke needs time to develop without the added pressure of his price-tag, according to former Albion head coach Steve Clarke.

Oliver Burke scored his first senior Scotland goal in Steve Clarke's first match in charge.

Burke came off the bench and scored a late winner for Scotland in Clarke’s first game as an international manager, a 2-1 win over Cyprus in a Euro 2020 qualifier.

It was the 22-year-old’s first senior goal for Scotland in his seventh cap for the country.

Clarke has urged the young forward to add consistency to his game.

But he says there is an unfair amount of pressure on his shoulders due to the two big transfer fees clubs have paid for him.

Burke was sold for £13million by Nottingham Forest to RB Leipzig in 2016 before Albion bought him for £15m a year later.

But he’s struggled for minutes during his time at The Hawthorns, and has started just two league games in two seasons.

“He is a young man who has fantastic attributes, but he’s a young man who has to learn the game,” said Clarke.

“His impact on Saturday night was there for everyone to see. What he has to do is learn that on a consistent basis.

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“You can’t immediately – because he scored the winning goal against Cyprus – put all the pressure on to Oli to be the goalscorer going forward.

“It has probably been difficult for him to have that expectation on his shoulders.

“As a young man to move for two combined fees of £28m is a big pressure to take with you.”

Burke still has three years left on his Albion contract and is expected to return to the Baggies this summer after spending the second half of last season on loan at Celtic.

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Although he started well under Brendan Rodgers, he struggled to get into the team under Neil Lennon.

Elsewhere in international action, Albion defender Dara O’Shea has reached the semi-final of the Toulon Tournament with the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad.

Ireland finished top of Group C with seven points and now face the might of Brazil tomorrow.

“Thanks for your support back home,” said O’Shea. “We’re delighted to qualify for the semi-final. Keep supporting!”

The 20-year-old defender impressed on loan at League Two Exeter City last season.

Sam Field and Kyle Edwards played for England under-20s in the Toulon Tournament, but they were knocked out in the group stage.

Salomon Rondon scored twice for Venezuela in a 3-0 win over the USA in a friendly, breaking his country's all-time goalscoring record.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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