Potter hopes Oli can kick on

20th April 2019
First team

Graham Potter has challenged Oli McBurnie to keep getting better and better after breaking the 20-goal barrier for Swansea City.

McBurnie took his tally for the 2018-19 campaign to 21 thanks to a brace in the 4-3 win over Rotherham.

It makes him the first Swans' player to score 20 goals in a season since Wilfried Bony managed the feat in 2014, while Michu had done the same a year prior.

For McBurnie, it means he has scored 30 goals in 57 first-team appearances since joining Barnsley on loan in January of 2018, an impressive strike-rate better than a goal every other game.

Potter has been delighted by the contribution of the Scotland international, but says the striker's challenge is to keep on developing and take the chance to become a Swansea City icon, as Bony and Michu were before him.

"His challenge is to keep improving because those guys before him did it in the Premier League, at the highest level," said Potter of McBurnie's landmark.

"Oli has a way to go, and I am sure he would say the same, to be in that company.

"But he is in the early stages of his career, there have been challenges along the way but he has stuck in there.

"The team have helped him as well, and it's nice for him to get through that 20-goal barrier."

And Potter was impressed with how McBurnie has adjusted during his maiden full season of first-team football, even though illness has stymied his game time in 2019.

"His goal-scoring record in the Championship is really, really high," he said.

"If you think at the start of the season there was a lot of talk about us needing a 20-goal striker, so I am pleased for him because essentially it was about us as a team being able to find something from somewhere.

"It was an opportunity we wanted to give Oli.

"I am really pleased he has taken it, it hasn't been straightforward for him in his first full season but we did not expect it to be straightforward.

"He has played a number of positions, a variety of roles. He has been the number nine or more withdrawn which helps him.

"He can finish, that's for sure and if he gets chances he can score."