Why Burnley should keep hold of Dwight McNeil beyond this season
Back in June, a report from the Sun claimed that Juventus were planning a shock summer swoop for Burnley starlet, Dwight McNeil.
However, the Italian champions didn’t follow up their interest with a bid and fortunately for Burnley, the teenager is still a part of their team.
Dwight McNeil, 19, broke into the Clarets senior squad in December last year. He then went on to make 20 straight Premier appearances for Sean Dyche’s side, scoring three goals and grabbing five assists.
He continued to enhance his reputation at the Toulon Tournament, where he produced heroics for England U20s.
Last month, the speedy winger was called up to the England Under-21 squad for the first time. He has previously been capped at Under-20 level after breaking into the senior set-up at Burnley.
Interest from one of the biggest European clubs, Juventus, and a call up the England Under-21 squad demonstrates exactly the strides Dwight McNeil has made in such a short span of time.
Juventus signed one of Europe’s best young defenders in Matthijs de Ligt in the summer. They tried changing their transfer policy a bit by adding younger players to a squad that generally relies on experienced professionals. There’s every chance of the Serie A giants reviving their interest in McNeil in the next transfer window.
After keeping hold of McNeil in the summer, they must ensure he stays at the club for a long period of time. McNeil, who started his career in Manchester United’s academy before joining Burnley in 2014, has also been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City.
His goals, assists and performances in the second half of the 2018-19 campaign played a big part in the Clarets’ turnaround and eventual safety in the top-flight.
McNeil impressed in the pre-season and has hit the ground running in the new season, bagging an assist in four games.
The teenager is part of a hard-working Burnley team and is learning a lot under the guidance of Dyche. In fact, Dyche knows McNeil’s qualities and should be really pleased with the strides the England Under-20 international has made.
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The 19-year-old is undoubtedly a talent for now but the future also looks bright for the Rochdale-born wide man.
His displays in the new season so far have been impressive, threatening the opposition defenders with his direct running, close control and dribbling skills. There is still a lot to improve for the young McNeil but the signs are all positive.
McNeil has quickly developed from a promising youngster to key man at Turf Moor. Having signed a new deal in January until 2023, he is a player that Dyche needs to keep at all costs beyond the current season.