Switzerland youth international Nishan Burkart has confirmed that he has joined Manchester United’s academy. TheHardTackle takes a closer look at the talented 16-year-old striker who was rumoured to be on the radar of Arsenal and Chelsea.


Burkart is a 16-year-old striker previously plying his trade with FC Zurich’s youth team. The talented youngster was spotted by many Premier League heavyweights as a potential future star, with Arsenal and Chelsea also linked with the player in early 2016. The Red Devils, though, have beaten their rivals to the signature of the speedster, with his father Stefan confirming the move back in April in an interview with Swiss publication Blick.

We have decided to leave the club in the summer. Nishan switches to Manchester United.”

The club’s president Ancilo Canepa had then decided not to use the player for the rest of the campaign after confirming the news of the transfer. This justifiably upset the player and his father, and the latter made his displeasure known.

This reaction by Mr Canepa disappointed us. We would have liked a more dignified exit. It makes us feel as though we’ve offended someone. But he doesn’t suffer any more. He is looking forward to Manchester United.”

All is in the past now as Nishan Burkart was visibly excited after joining the United academy. The 16-year-old talked to Swiss national team sponsors Credit-Suisse about his move to Old Trafford and his reasoning behind making the switch.

I visited each club and analysed its infrastructure while there. I always knew: If I were going to move to a club abroad, then it could only be to England, my mother’s home country.

Burkart knows how tough it is to make it at a big club like Manchester United and was remarkably realistic about his future career path.

I’m taking a relaxed approach to it all. If it doesn’t work out with Manchester United, the excellent training will still provide a fantastic foundation for launching a career at another club.

The 16-year-old striker is likely an unknown identity to the majority Manchester United fans worldwide.

Nishan Burkart ( Picture Courtesy - Credit Suisse/ Keystone/ Peter Klaunzer
Nishan Burkart (Picture Courtesy – Credit Suisse/ Keystone/ Peter Klaunzer)

Nishan Burkart is an extremely quick player and given his family background, it comes as little surprise. His father, Stefan Burkart, was an Olympic athlete and former Swiss record holder over 100 and 200 metres. His mother, Helen Barnett, is a former British 400-metre runner who was part of the Swiss relay team at the 1992 Olympics.

Burkart’s talent has been developed through a unique Swiss national initiative called Footeco and he is among the first batch of players to complete the whole training regime. The Red Cross’ National U16 Coach Yves Débonnaire highlighted the former FC Zurich youngster’s talent and his agility while talking to Credit-Suisse.

He’s one of those players who can make a difference, and he’s extremely versatile. He has the right mentality, competitive spirit, and technique. But it’s his speed that really stands out:

He’s one of the fastest junior players I’ve ever worked with. And not just over longer distances – he is also extremely explosive and agile in the first few meters.

Nishan is a natural goalscorer and scored 9 goals in 7 games at the Swiss Cup last summer, which is reportedly where the striker caught the attention of top clubs. The 16-year-old was also the top goalscorer in the U15 Championship with around 25 goals to his name.

Burkart is now a part of Nicky Butt’s Under 18 team and will be looking to impress the former United midfielder along with the present first-team manager Jose Mourinho. The 16-year-old has already impressed everyone around him with his level-headed personality and maturity at such a young age. Burkart has a bright future ahead of him and Manchester United fans would be looking forward to seeing the Swiss superkid set the Premier League ablaze in the years to come.

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