KELVIN Wilson last night compared new Celtic loan signing Oliver Burke to Gareth Bale and predicted that Brendan Rodgers can kick-start his career - just like he did with Raheem Sterling at Liverpool.

Former Parkhead centre half Wilson was a player at Nottingham Forest when Burke made his first team debut back in 2014 and was immediately impressed by his physical attributes and his blinding pace.

He is surprised the winger, who has moved to RB Leipzig in Germany and West Brom in England for Scottish record transfer fees totalling £28 million in the past two and a half years, has been unable to fulfil his huge early potential.

But the defender feels that Rodgers, who has a proven track record developing youngsters and has taken Burke to the Scottish champions until the end of the season, can get the very best out of him in the next four months.

“In my second spell at Forest he broke into the first team,” said Wilson at a William Hill media event at Hampden. “Twisty quickly became probably one of our most important players. He could change a game with his pace and his feet. He was always destined to go on to good things.

“I can remember seeing him in the changing room once. He had no top on. I thought: ‘Bloody hell!’ He was built like an athlete, just ripped. We used to do jump test before training. He would always beat everyone.

“He was just lightning. He is just like Gareth Bale. He is built like him. And what I liked about Twisty was he was willing to learn. You could see he was going to go on to good things.

“He was a great player, a great lad, and I hope he does well up here. It will stand him in good stead for the Scotland squad, playing up here and playing for a great club as well.”

He added: “I have no doubt Twisty will do well at Celtic. I don’t know where Brendan is going to play him because he has great players in his position out on the wings. But I am sure he will find somewhere for him. He has brought him up here so I guess he is going to play him.

“I have been very surprised he hasn’t pushed on. When he got his big move to Leipzig I thought they were so keen on him they would play him. Obviously it didn’t work out for him there. When he went to West Brom I thought he would play. But it didn’t happen again for whatever reason.

“Coming up to Scotland will help him and improve his confidence. He is playing for a big club and will have to get that big club mentality. It will be the opposite to West Brom who got relegated. You have to win every game at Celtic. He will have to learn, but that is a good thing.

“Brendan was at Chelsea as a youth team coach so he has got that experience of working with talented young players. The main that he worked with was Raheem Sterling. He made him a better player. Twisty has come to a great club with a great manager to play under.”

Wilson has insisted that Rodgers, who is set to hand Burke his Celtic debut in the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round match against Airdrieonians at Parkhead this afternoon, can play his old team mate as a striker.

“If you are going to play counter attacking football then play him up top," he said. "But Celtic don’t play that up here. Teams get 11 players behind the ball and they have got to try and break them down.

"I would play him wide right – but Jamesey Forrest plays there. I am sure Brendan has a plan for him. So good luck to him. He has got a great player

“He can play striker. But, like I say, I would say he is better suited to a counter attacking team because he is lightning quick. But, again, I haven’t played with him for quite a few years.

"He was young lad when I played with him so he wasn’t mature mentally. I am sure he reads the game a bit more now. He might be able to play up top.”

Meanwhile, Wilson, who won two Scottish titles and the Scottish Cup during his two seasons in Glasgow, has expressed hope his former Celtic manager Neil Lennon can get the best out of his ex-Rotherham team mate Scott Allan next season.

The 33-year-old believes the midfielder, who hasn't played for the double treble winners this season, has signed a pre-contract agreement with Hibernian and will return to Easter Road in the summer.

Wilson said: “He is a great player Scotty, probably one of the best technically I played with. When he really puts his mind to it he can win you a game. But he has to put his mind to it. If he does that more often he isn’t too old to kick on and have a good career.

“I haven’t seen Scotty play much for Celtic. Sometimes it can be overwhelming for some players. I doubt that’s the case for Scotty, though, because knowing him personally, he’s not a shy lad. He will voice an opinion and keep having a go. But sometimes you need a chance as well.

"I think playing under Lenny again will do him the world of good. I played under Lenny and he is a great man manager. He tells you when you are playing well and makes you feel like the best player in the world. But he’ll let you know when you’re playing bad as well.”

Kelvin Wilson was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.