Why Crystal Palace must plot a summer swoop for Dwight McNeil
Back in December 2019, Crystal Palace were linked with a move for Burnley winger Dwight McNeil. (h/t Daily Mirror)
Dwight McNeil, 20, was rejected by Manchester United at the age of 14. Burnley then quickly snapped up the Englishman, who flourished under the mentorship of Sean Dyche at Turf Moor last season.
He broke into the Clarets senior squad in December last year. And the winger then went on to make 20 straight Premier League appearances for Dyche’s men, scoring three goals and registering five assists.
The 20-year-old has been one of the star performers for Burnley this season, registering two goals and five assists in 29 league appearances. McNeil has been hugely impressive in the Premier League since his debut and Crystal Palace would be wise to rekindle their interest in the Burnley star when the summer transfer window opens.
The Eagles have once again struggled for goals, managing only 26 in 29 games. Jordan Ayew has done very well as a lone man up front this season, bagging 8 goals in 28 appearances. But Ayew has lacked support up front, with Wilfried Zaha failing to live up to his usual standards this season.
To solve the goalscoring woes, Roy Hodgson brought in Cenk Tosun on loan from Everton in January until the end of the campaign. Unfortunately, Tosun’s loan spell has been cut short and he has returned to Everton after sustaining a long-term injury. The Turkish striker has injured his knee and could be sidelined for up to six months.
Christian Benteke has been limited to just 20 league appearances this season due to injury problems. The centre-forward has struggled for fitness and form over the last two years and has scored just once so far this term. So, Ayew deserves credit for leading the attack and scoring eight goals for Hodgson’s side.
Considering the problems Palace have faced in scoring goals this season, Hodgson should prioritise reinforcing that area during the summer transfer window. And signing Dwight McNeil could be a good move for the Eagles.
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McNeil has been a vital cog in Sean Dyche’s setup and has been one of Burnley’s main players this term. He is a left-winger by trade and would be a perfect fit at Selhurst Palace alongside the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.
He’s a quality player, scores goals, makes assists and creates chances, and that is everything a winger needs to possess in his locker. In 58 appearances for Burnley, the England Under-21 international has registered 5 goals and 10 assists, which is a good return for such a young player.
McNeil is just 20 years old, brimming with confidence following his current form in Burnley colours. There’s clear potential in the kid and with proper guidance and regular opportunities under Hodgson, the English winger could be a future star. Hence, Hodgson must do everything in his powers to sign him from the Clarets before the 2020/21 season commences.