Both players have been linked with moves to Manchester United in recent months, with the Clarets winger the subject of a rumoured £35m switch to Old Trafford (as per The Sun), while the Villa Park maestro is valued at a mammoth £80m by his employers (as per The Mirror).
Speaking to Lancashire Live, Brownhill said of his 20-year-old team-mate: “There are not many 20-year-olds that can go and dictate a Premier League game by going everywhere on the pitch and getting the ball.
“It is what Jack Grealish is like, he wants everything to go through him and the lads trust his ability and know how good he is.
“There are a lot of 20-year-olds that can go hiding if it is not going their way whereas it doesn’t matter if he gives the ball away or whatever happen, he will still run and try and make something happen. What I see in training, he is frightening because he is so good.”
McNeil chipped in with two goals and six assists for Burnley during the 2019/20 season, making him the Clarets joint-highest assists provider for the campaign. However, considering that he started every Premier League game and played as a left winger, his scoring return seems somewhat modest.
The 20-year-old averaged 1.4 key passes and 1.3 shots per game last term, figures which put him among the market leaders for both metrics at Turf Moor. His passing success rate of 79.1% is also the second highest of any Clarets player, beaten only by Brownhill himself with 82.5%. [via WhoScored]
However, his impact on a Burnley team which finished 10th pales in comparison with that of Grealish on an Aston Villa side that stayed up by just one point. The 24-year-old, who like McNeil also played on the left wing for the most part in 2019/20, hit 10 goals and supplied eight assists in 3,550 minutes in all competitions – only 105 more minutes than the Burnley winger racked up.
Grealish also outperformed the Clarets youngster for several other key metrics in 2019/20. The Aston Villa man averaged two shots and 2.5 key passes per game, along with having a passing accurate rate of 84.8% (as per WhoScored).
With respect to McNeil, he is four years younger than Grealish and is not as advanced in his career development as the Aston Villa playmaker. Therefore, time is very much on the Burnley youngster’s side to grow into a player who can make as crucial an impact at Turf Moor as the 24-year-old has at Villa Park.
Who is the better player?
For now, the two don’t quite seem to be on the same level, although Grealish certainly seems like an ideal example for McNeil to follow as the Clarets winger’s career progresses over the coming seasons.
Burnley fans, do you think the comparison of McNeil with Grealish is a fair one? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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