Player Name: Dwight McNeil
Date of birth: 22 November 1999
Position: Winger (Right/ left), midfielder
Dwight McNeil – his career so far
Even though he is aged only 20 at the moment, Dwight McNeil has already established himself as a key player for Burnley’s senior team. The young forward is only at the very beginning of his career and yet, he’s already taken the stage by storm and will look to improve even further as the years go by.
McNeil was first snatched by the Clarets back in 2014 when he left Manchester United’s academy to continue his progress elsewhere. The Rochdale-born lad penned a two-year scholarship with his new club in 2016, following a clearly impressive spell with the youth ranks.
That year he also became a regular part of their U18 team as well as featuring for their Development Squad. But it really didn’t take him long to continue impressing his coaches and Burnley’s upper hierarchy as his leading performances for the U23s shortly after in 2017/18 meant he was named the Clarets’ Young Player of the Year.
Later in April 2018, he was also rewarded with his first professional contract at Burnley, soon getting the taste of the first-team action as well. McNeil got his Premier League debut when he came on as a substitute on the final day of the campaign that year but little did he know that was only the beginning of something truly wonderful both for him and the club.
The now 20-year-old became a regular part of the seniors in 2018/19, making his full debut in the Europa League in August 2018 before getting his first Premier League start against Manchester United, not more than a few days later.
Since he continued performing on such a high level, he was rewarded with a brand new contract in January 2019 which tied him down at the club until 2023. Now, he can already boast with a total of 58 appearances for Burnley with five goals and ten assists under his name as well.
Needless to say, McNeil has since become a benchmark for all the youngsters trying to fight their way into the senior team.
With his explosion onto the scene a couple of years back, it doesn’t really come as a surprise to see a plethora of transfer rumours and transfer news constantly surround the young lad. McNeil was linked with almost every top team in England, and with Manchester United leading the headlines for a potential swoop for the 20-year-old.
And if the interest truly persists, he just might get tempted by those lucrative offers by many European giants and the Clarets will have to ensure he stays put. But in some more positive Burnley news, the youngster has been encouraged to stay at Turf Moor by Ben Mee, their captain, and that might as well have a big impact on the kid. (Source: )
At the moment, the Manchester United interest is still dominating the transfer news on the mill but the Clarets can still be quite optimistic that their gem is going to continue developing at the club of his youth.
McNeil is a versatile winger who mainly occupies the left side of the pitch but can also be deployed on the opposite flank as well. Being a left-footed player makes him a rather traditional winger when he’s playing in his preferred position as he usually hugs the touchline, stretches the opposition’s defensive line and bursts through into space behind them.
As a wide attacker, he can also boast with good dribbling and crossing abilities. Usually, when he’s able to beat his marker on the flank, he proceeds to deploy a cross into the box, either by sending them in high or low.
At the moment, the only area that still feels like it matches his young age is the passing. While he is a decent passer of the ball, there’s still a lot of room of improvement there as he continues developing through the years.
He tallied 2.1 dribbles per game in the Premier League in 2019/20 and has deployed 1.5 key passes as well. Even though we’ve seen him rattle the inside of the opposition’s net on more than one occasion already, he is yet to reach the level of elite goalscorers in his position.
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