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Burke relishes stint in Spain as he looks to reboot career

The Scotland midfielder is on loan at Alaves and is determined to breathe life into his career.

Call-up: Burke is back with the senior side.
Call-up: Burke is back with the senior side. SNS

Oliver Burke has said he is relishing his loan stint in Spain as the Scotland international looks to reboot his career in La Liga.

Two-and-a-half years ago Burke became Scotland's most expensive player when he joined RB Leipzig from Nottingham Forest for £15m.

But the 22-year-old has struggled to live up to his early potential since switching to West Brom in a move which has proven ill-fated to date.

Burke spent the second half of last season on loan at Celtic, initially impressing before falling out of the line-up following Neil Lennon's arrival.

Now on loan at Alaves, he is determined to breathe fresh life into his career.

Burke said: "I'm really enjoying it (in Spain). I wouldn't say it's far different, obviously there is the language barrier but I feel I'm learning a lot.

"I feel really happy there and that I'm developing as much as I can.

"Obviously for me it has been really frustrating, not staying at one club but that is part and parcel of my career right now.

"I'd love to be at a club and be first name on the team sheet but I think it will come with time, I'm still at a good age and doing everything I can to learn the game."

For me it has been highs and many lows, you just have to keep going and not let your head drop.
Oli Burke

Burke has found game-time hard to come by in recent years and the former Forest attacker said achieving regular minutes on the pitch is his priority at the moment.

"I believe I need a good run of games to get confidence," he continued.

"Game time is the most important for me.

"When you play week in, week out you have more chances to show what you're capable of doing.

"When you only come on for five or ten minutes, the pressure is hard and it's very difficult to make an impact.

"But the progress is there, I'm happy with where I am now in a great league.

"For me it has been highs and many lows, you just have to keep going and not let your head drop.

"I know what I can do, I just have to do the best I can and hopefully good things come."

Limited action for West Brom has led to Burke being used intermittently by Scotland, with the powerful attacker winning just nine caps since making his debut against Denmark in 2017.

Now back with the national side, Burke said he's keen to give boss Steve Clarke a selection headache falling a host of call-offs.

He added: "It's unfortunate players can't make the squad with injuries but that's part of football.

"The players that have come in have to work hard and hopefully cement their spot.

"After recent results there is no better time for players to come in and step up and cement their place in the team.

"Things have been tough, it can be difficult, but we have to be proud playing for our country and play every game like it's our last."

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