Former Burnley player Steven Hewitt has advised Dwight McNeil to disregard reported transfer interest in him and remain at Turf Moor – based on one condition.
The 27-year-old, who came through the Burnley academy ranks but is now playing with Hume City in Australia, believes that the young Clarets winger should stay put in Lancashire despite apparently being wanted by the likes of Manchester United, Everton and Crystal Palace.
Hewitt made his plea to McNeil in an interview with Tribal Football, saying: “If it was me, I would stay at Burnley. They’re not the greatest team in the Premier League, but he’s playing week in, week out, whereas if he makes a big money move to, say, Manchester United, then he’s going to have that big price tag on his head.
“That’s added pressure, and because he’d be with big players, he might have one bad game and then he’s out of the team and losing confidence. So me personally, I would stay at Burnley. Sean Dyche loves him, he trusts him, so I would stay at Burnley as long as possible.”
However, there is one significant circumstance in which Hewitt feels that McNeil would be better off leaving the Clarets, with the 27-year-old saying: “If they looked like they were getting relegated, or were relegated, then I’d say go away. Move. Get back in the Premier League.
“But he’s happy at Burnley, so just stay there for another one or two seasons. It’s not a long time, but an extra two seasons under his belt, that would be my advice.”
Will Dwight McNeil still be at Burnley when the transfer window closes?
Hewitt’s advice to McNeil seems sound and appears to have the 20-year-old’s best interests at heart. The youngster has indeed become a favourite of Dyche at Burnley, starting all 37 of their Premier League games this season and playing every minute in the division since Boxing Day (as per TransferMarkt).
There are past examples of talented young wingers who made the move to Manchester United but struggled to make their mark. Daniel James has been a regular under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season but, after a flying start, has not scored a league goal since August (as per TransferMarkt).
It is also understandable that Hewitt feels McNeil is good enough for the Premier League, having been a constant presence in the division this season. As it stands, Burnley are a stable top-flight club, with four unbroken years at that level and a top-half finish this term, so the 20-year-old shouldn’t need to leave Turf Moor any time soon in order to ensure Premier League football.
Hewitt’s advice is well-placed, although the burning question is whether Manchester United will ramp up their reported interest over the upcoming transfer window and whether McNeil can resist the opportunity to play for a club with a strong chance of appearing in next season’s Champions League.
Burnley fans, do you agree with Hewitt’s advice to McNeil? Have your say by commenting below!
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