OLIVER Burke is ticking off European experiences with such abandon that you might suggest he is keen to sample each one of the continent’s distinct footballing cultures before Brexit comes along.

Already with a season of Bundesliga football under his belt at RB Leipzig, this pacy, physically-imposing forward is now playing his trade in La Liga on-loan from West Bromwich Albion at Alaves, the first Scot to grace this division since Alan Hutton had a stint at Real Mallorca six years ago. And all this by the age of 22.

Compared to the intensity of the Glasgow goldfish bowl, the sleepy surroundings of Vitoria-Gasteiz in the Basque Country represent quite a culture shock for this native of Kirkcaldy. These days, after all, he builds a siesta into his training sessions, and requires team-mates to translate for him while he takes Spanish lessons three times a week.

But it might just be the perfect setting for a player blessed with all the tools required to be a top-class football player and perhaps even a game changer for his country if he can learn how to deploy them properly.

No-one knows this more than his international manager Steve Clarke, who was the catalyst for this most recent change of surroundings when he omitted him from his squad for the matches against Russia and Belgium and politely advised him that he wasn’t likely to be featuring any time soon if he couldn’t get lock down an first-team football.

Happily involved in first team action again – he locked horns with Russia’s Denis Cheryshev when Alaves went down 2-1 to Valencia last week - don’t bet against Burke being asked to be the out ball for Scotland in Moscow tomorrow evening, just as he was in Brussels in June.

“I hadn’t been playing football,” said Burke. “That was the main reason why I wasn’t in the last squad. I totally respect that and understand that. Because a player who isn’t playing football isn’t ready for the international team. Other players were playing and they deserved to be in over me, because they were playing more minutes.

“But it hurt, because previously I had scored in the Cyprus game and I felt it was really going well in the international set up,” he added. “It wasn’t something that massively hurt but it made me think ‘right, I need to play football now, because I need to be able to help the team’. Now I am very happy to be playing, happy to be back in the set-up. Every game for Scotland you want to give everything you’ve got, prove a point and make sure you are in the thoughts for the next camp.”

While Burke can pose a mighty threat up front with his pace, he has thus far been used on either flank domestically in a side where he finds former Celtic players John Guidetti and Mubarak Wakaso for company. A few things might have been lost in translation thus far but Burke is enjoying the change of environment, even if it was a shock to the system to find that the services of a man who has racked up the best part of £30m in transfer fees weren’t required by Slaven Bilic at his parent club.

“How does it compare to Glasgow?” said Burke. “I would say it is nowhere near the same to be honest. The pressures at Celtic are sky high, while the pressures at Alaves are almost none.

“I loved my time at Celtic, I made some friends for life, and that was a loan too,” he added. “This is a smaller city, the fanbase isn’t as huge, but the most important thing is to play football. You can walk down the street and not get pestered the way you would in Glasgow.

“My team-mates are good, I go out for meals with them and stuff. Some don’t speak English but it is nice just to be around them and get to know everybody as well as I can. I think a few of the players maybe did some research into me before I went but the rest of them don’t really know anything about me. Sometimes you need somebody to translate. It’s like ‘tell him that’. Then I see his reaction about a minute later!

“It doesn’t faze me moving to another country,” he added. “Because I’ve already done it, it’s a lot easier. I want to enjoy it because you only live one life so why not live it to the extreme and do everything you can? We train at 11 in the morning and it’s all pretty normal other than the siesta part where they all go to sleep for two hours and it’s a ghost town. I’ll go back and sleep after training and do what they’re doing so I can keep up. I’ll be having Spanish lessons three times a week. I’ve got a teacher organised - it’s a life thing as well.”

Visits to the Camp Nou and the Bernabeu await. “I’ve not circled off any games, but Barcelona and Real Madrid are amazing games and I look forward to them.”