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Player Analysis: Dwight McNeil

Dwight McNeil : Who Is He? 

  • Name – Dwight McNeil
  • Age – 11/22/1999 (21 years old) 
  • Rookie Season / Team – 2013 / Burnley 
  • Nationality – English 
  • International Caps (Goals) – 0
  • Position – Left Winger
  • Current Team / League – Burnley / English Premier League 

Career Overview 

Born and bred in Rochdale, a part of Greater Manchester, Dwight McNeil began his foray into soccer the same way many kids from Manchester do, as part of the Manchester United youth academy, but he was released in 2014. Rather than give up on soccer altogether, McNeil kept his chin up and followed in his father’s footsteps, joining Burnley’s youth setup. 

Things panned out better for McNeil at Burnley, and he was awarded a two-year scholarship and made several appearances in the Development Squad. At the end of the scholarship, McNeil signed a two-year contract with the Clarets. 

His professional debut came in in the last game of the 2017/18 season, coming on as a late substitute for Aaron Lennon. He played more of a role the following season, making 21 league appearances and notching 3 goals and five assists along the way as Burnley finished in 15th place. His first goal for the club came in a 2-0 win over West Ham in late December.  

McNeil appeared in every league game for Burnley the following season and scored twice while providing eight assists to help Burnley to a ninth-place finish. He also received his first Under-21 international call-up and made his debut in the 2-2 draw against Slovenia in October 2019. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A-rdEeyhig

Dwight McNeil: His Season So Far 

Dwight McNeil committed his future to Burnley early in the delayed-season, signing a contract that will keep him at the club until 2024. So far, he has made 27 appearances and scored three league goals while also providing three assists. 

His first assist came in the opening game of the season as Burnley lost to Leicester, and he did not get on the scoresheet until the new year. At the end of January, McNeil registered a goal and an assist in a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa and followed this up two weeks later with an assist in the game at Crystal Palace. 

His most recent goal came in the surprise victory over Everton at Goodison Park, scoring Burnley’s second on 24 minutes. Although primarily a Left Winger, he has shown that he can swap flanks when required, highlighting critical versatility that could make him a useful player for Burnley (or a bigger team) in the future.

How Do His Stats Look?

It’s always tricky to get a good idea of stats for players who are so young. But, as McNeil has nearly 100 Premier League appearances, there seems enough to go on to get an idea of his contributions. In his 87 league appearances for Burnley, he has provided seven goals. This isn’t a great statistic, although it is not far off Christian Pulisic’s record for Dortmund, even if Pulisic was younger, or Callum Hudson-Odoi, though he has made around half as many appearances. 

In all competitions, he still only has seven goals (McNeil has failed to score in any FA Cup, EFL Cup, or Europa League Qualifying games), and has provided 14 assists, which again have only come in league games. This brings his entire total to 21 goal involvements across 98 games, giving him an average of 0.21 goals per game. 

When compared to players of a similar age and position, such as Jadon Sancho, the numbers are not out of this world. But, Burnley are hardly an attacking team and with the 110 goals Burnley have scored since McNeil became a regular starter, he has had a hand in 0.19 of them. Not too bad, considering his age. 

Why Has His Value Increased? 

The soccer car market may seem like it’s still in its infancy to some hobbyists, but collectors know it is established enough to be worth considering making significant investments in the future. With Dwight McNeil, the potential is there. Here are a few reasons his value has increased. 

  • He is playing well in an established Premier League team
  • These performances could signal a move to a bigger team in the future, and this will raise his price and profile
  • At just 21,he still has his whole career ahead of him, barring disaster and injuries
  • Increased interest in soccer cards
  • Increased interest in decent and promising rookies

Dwight McNeil: Predictions for the Future 

  • Consistency: McNeil’s stats this season show that his consistency is patchy, but this should improve as he gains more experience. 
  • Form: Likewise, an up-and-down Burnley team means it’s difficult to get into decent form, perhaps he could discover this form elsewhere.
  • Club Form: Burnley are a side who are happy to sit back and could be accused of playing ugly football. It can get results, though, and this can give McNeil the chance to show off his skills.
  • Honors: the chances of Burnley winning silverware are slim (although never say never), and McNeil may consider moving elsewhere if he wants to win trophies. He’s already been recognized with individual awards as Burnley’s Young Player of the Year.
  • International Performance: Experience with the Under-21s for Euro qualifiers will give McNeil a taste for international glory, and he could find his way into senior team within a few years and good performances.

Summary 

The future could be bright for Dwight McNeil. He has shown glimpses of quality during his two years at Turf Moor, and this has put him on the radar for some of the bigger clubs in the division. Whether he makes a move this season or next remains to be seen. But if he continues to show what he’s capable of in claret and blue, the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs, or others, could come knocking. 

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