Teenage star Ollie Burke can be one of the world’s best players according to his fellow Melton professional footballer Paul Anderson.
Burke made a sensational debut for Red Bull Leipzig last week following his record £13 million transfer to help his new club to their first-ever Bundesliga win.
The 19-year-old, the most expensive Scottish footballer of all-time, came on as a substitute with 20 minutes left against German giants Borussia Dortmund with the game locked at 0-0.
Causing problems with his pace and power, Burke ran into the box and beat two defenders before laying on an inch-perfect cross for Naby Keita to score a dramatic last-minute winner.
“The potential he has is frightening so I hope everything falls right for him,” Anderson said.
“There is no reason why he can’t be one of the best in the world.”
Anderson shares plenty in common with Burke.
They attended John Ferneley College as schoolboys and both were snapped up by top flight teams as teenagers, Anderson joining Liverpool as a 17-year-old in 2006.
The former Melton Foxes junior was hailed by some as the successor at Anfield to England striker Michael Owen despite Anderson making his mark as a pacey winger, another similarity with Burke.
Anderson made it onto the bench for Liverpool in a couple of Champions League group matches, but could not break into a star-studded first team.
He is well aware that as well as potential, young footballers also need application and an element of right-time, right-place to make the next step.
“I hope Ollie gets the opportunity; he deserves it,” the 28-year-old added.
“He clearly works hard and is doing things the right way; you only have to look at his physique to see how much work he puts in at the gym.”
Burke was a promising talent in the junior ranks at Nottingham Forest during Anderson’s four seasons at the City Ground.
Sharing a hometown bond, Anderson followed the progress of his fellow Meltonian.
And it was a link he was quick to remember when news of Burke’s transfer broke.
He said: “I went through a similar thing when I went to Liverpool so I sent him a message with my number offering him advice if he wanted it from someone who had a bit of experience of it.
“I spoke to Ollie and his mum a few times when we were at Forest together to see how things were going, and they were such a nice family.
“He was from Melton and Ferneley so you look out for each other.”