Harry Burgoyne: One for the Future?
20-year-old goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne made just his third Wolverhampton Wanderers appearance in their victory over Anfield in the fourth round of the FA Cup and it would be fair to state that this one will live long in the memory. With Carl Ikeme suspended and major doubts over veteran Andy Lonergan’s fitness, the youngster stepped up to the plate and helped Wolves earn a shock 2-1 win against the seven-time winner to reach the fifth round.
Burgoyne has featured for Wolves’ under-23 side on numerous occasions in the Football League Trophy this season; most recently in their 2-1 defeat away at Swansea City’s youth setup. At 20 years old, he still has a lot to learn but indications show that Burgoyne has the potential to mature into a very good goalkeeper. After spending the last eight years working his way up through the youth system, he is deserving of a move to greener pastures.
With the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea surveying Burgoyne’s progress, this is a great chance for the 20-year-old to prove himself on the big stage. The Gunners are in desperate need of cover for Petr Cech as they look to compete on multiple fronts. Arsene Wenger’s men, priced at 20/1 in the Champions League odds on Paddy Power, are fighting in Europe and for the top flight crown and Burgoyne could play himself into Wenger's mindset as the end of the transfer window approaches; especially after his recent performance against Liverpool.
A potential move away from Molineux in the summer looks much more viable, especially as Burgoyne signed a contract extension as recently as December. In theory, Wolves have now tied their young starlet to the club until 2019 but it would be hard to turn down a handsome fee if one of England’s elite sides came knocking. Whilst he let four goals in against Fulham on his Championship debut, all signs indicate a successful career for the youngster; he made a fantastic double save in the second half to keep the visitors at bay and his 86th minute save was crucial as the Reds rallied late on.
If nothing else, Burgoyne's display could see him climb above his peers in the pecking order at Molineux. Leading Wolves to a memorable victory at Anfield has certainly helped to put him on the map and it could kickstart his career towards the top of English football. Liverpool themselves are looking for their next long-term goalkeeper and neither Simon Mignolet nor Loris Karius have covered themselves in glory this season.
Burgoyne has now put himself out there as a potential top flight goalkeeper. You only need to look at Joe Hart’s story to remember that reliable options can come from the lower tiers of English football - and the Premier League's elite clubs come do a lot worse than taking a punt on Harry Burgoyne.
When it comes to reflexes and making instinctive saves, Burgoyne is Wolves’ number one option and Lambert knows it. The 20-year-old still has a lot to learn and Molineux might just be the best place for him to learn his trade. Eventually, one of England’s big boys will come knocking for him and he will be ready to showcase his talent in the top flight. And if he plays anything like he did in Wolves' win against Liverpool, that golden opportunity could be just around the corner.