Former Burnley striker Robbie Blake believes that current Clarets winger Dwight McNeil could soon be on his way out of Turf Moor.
The 20-year-old, who is valued at £16.2m by TransferMarkt, has reportedly attracted transfer interest from Manchester United (as per The Sun), Everton and Crystal Palace (as per Lancashire Live), and Blake expects his former club to accept any lucrative offers that are made for him.
Speaking about McNeil to Tribal Football, the 44-year-old said: “Inevitably when a young player comes through and he’s playing for a team like Burnley and getting rave reviews, it’s no disrespect to Burnley but a player of his quality – he’s going to get recognition and that happens.
“But Burnley is a football club that’s not silly, and they know if a bigger team comes in for a player of that quality a deal will have to be done. I think he’s a very talented player and he’s doing great as a firm favourite in the team, so he’s going to attract attention. That’s just the way the world is and how clubs are.
“I’m sure the Burnley supporters would understand that if a top class team comes in and the money’s right, they won’t stand in his way. I think he’s ready now to go on and sign for a bigger club.”
Will Dwight McNeil still be at Burnley next season?
It is understandable why Blake feels that the Clarets could be prepared to part ways with McNeil, who has started all 34 of Burnley’s Premier League games so far this season, with two goals and six assists to his name. He is the joint-leader in terms of setting up league goals for Sean Dyche’s team along with Ashley Westwood.
The 20-year-old has stood out with his dribbling ability, his average of 2.2 per game by far the highest in Burnley’s squad, while his eye for a killer ball is reflected in his 1.4 key passes per game, a figure eclipsed only by Westwood at Turf Moor (as per WhoScored).
As Blake has referenced indirectly, the Clarets have been in a similar situation before in terms of letting prized assets leave for sizeable fees. They sold the prolific Danny Ings to Liverpool five years ago for £8m (as per The Guardian) and, in 2017, they recouped £18.5m from Watford for Andre Gray (as per BBC).
McNeil may only be 20 but he has already made 56 Premier League appearances and has performed well enough to apparently attract interest from a Champions League-chasing club such as Manchester United. A concrete offer from the Old Trafford club could be difficult to turn down, so Blake is justified in warning Burnley supporters that they might not get to enjoy the young winger’s talents for much longer.
Burnley fans, do you share Blake’s views on McNeil’s future at the club? Have your say by commenting below!
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