PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM has warned Leeds United to be on their guard against the striker whose capture in January could yet prove to be the parting gift that saves his old club.
Barnsley’s frontline will be led today by Oli McBurnie, who has made a huge impact since joining on loan from Swansea City.
His eight goals in 12 starts have helped keep alive the Reds’ hopes of survival and Heckingbottom admits United’s defence will have to be alert in today’s derby.
“He is dangerous because he scores goals,” said the Elland Road chief. “He can be quiet and still score goals or he is a clever player and can get in good areas that can hurt you as well.
“His main attribute is that he can score goals, with either foot and with his head.”
Heckingbottom’s capture of former the Bradford City man came five months after an earlier deal collapsed at the 11th hour.
The 21-year-old’s move to Oakwell was announced shortly after the summer window closed. He then joined up with the Reds for training before the plug was pulled after an administrative error came to light.
“Didn’t think I was that bad in training,” joked McBurnie on Twitter after being sent back to Wales but it was a big disappointment for all parties.
McBurnie’s impressive scoring record since then has only added to the Oakwell club’s frustration.
“I thought I had it done deadline day the first time in August,” added Heckingbottom.
He is dangerous because he scores goals. He can be quiet and still score goals or he is a clever player and can get in good areas that can hurt you as well.Leeds United manager, Paul Heckingbottom
“I was really disappointed when that got messed up and that was obviously hard because we have seen his value then since. He has done what I expected him to do.”
As for the talk of Leeds looking to sign McBurnie during the summer, he added: “People know I think he is a good player.
“He has since gone on to prove that.”