Mike: Oli is becoming a complete striker

31st January 2019
First team

Mike van der Hoorn has heaped praised on in-form Oli McBurnie, and believes the striker is becoming a more rounded player with every passing game.

Scotland international McBurnie has made a sensational start to 2019, scoring seven goals in four games to take his tally for the season to 15.

Wilfried Bony was the last Swans' player to score 20 or more goals in a season, but the 22-year-old looks to be well on track to reaching that landmark.

Defender Van der Hoorn - who teed up McBurnie's last-gasp equaliser against Birmingham on Tuesday - is backing his team-mate to get well past 20 goals before the 2018-19 campaign is finished.

But he feels McBurnie's all-round play should not be overlooked when it comes to assessing his impact.

“Oli does well for us. He started in the number 10 position against Birmingham and it was hard to find him because they played so narrow," said Van der Hoorn.

"But, after he moved into the more attacking role, you could see how comfortable he is – whether it’s dropping in, linking the play or in front of goal. It was a similar header to the ones he scored against Leeds and Reading.

"He’s becoming more of a complete striker, but he knows he can be even better – especially at this age, he can do so much more. That’s really good for us. If he wants, he could score 25 or 30 goals this season. If he does, we’ll be higher up the table as well."

The draw against Garry Monk's Blues extends Swansea's unbeaten run to seven games, and Van der Hoorn admitted there was a real sense of relief to grab a point after relinquishing a 2-1 lead.

"For his second goal, I could hear him shouting me and he did well to get in front of his man to connect with my header," said Van der Hoorn of his assist. 

"That was a relief because it was in the dying seconds. If we got nothing from this game, we would’ve been really disappointed."