Everton has been alerted by the potential availability of Burnley winger Dwight McNeil.
Jadon Sancho is one name that is being discussed in the offices of Manchester City and Manchester United. However, he is not the one we are talking about. Everton are set to battle the two Manchester powerhouses for Burnley starlet Dwight McNeil.
The bright English winger is one of the emerging stars at Burnley and bigger teams have not failed to notice his uprising. According to the Daily Mail, Clarets boss Sean Dyche recently admitted that due to the stringent financial budgets, Burnley might be forced to sell one of their best prospects. The corona virus has seen a number of clubs plunging into financial turmoil and Burnley are no exceptions to that.
I think it’s something we’ve come across before, regardless of age. There comes a time when eventually players will leave Burnley because we can only go so far and the club only chooses to go so far – whether it be contractually or big fees coming in.
I don’t think we’ve ever planned on standing in anyone’s way but equally we’re in a position the last few years to stand our ground, on the other hand. There was probably a time when they thought, a player doing well for us, they could have nicked out of there. Well, that’s not the case now.
We’re very strong financially so therefore if people want to come for our players they are going to have to come for heavy prices. On the other hand he’s a young player who is doing very, very well. I’d be very very surprised if he doesn’t leave Burnley at some point because someone will come along and knock on our door. But that’s the reality of Burnley. (via Daily Mail)
Sean Dyche’s statements make it clear that the Clarets may not be able to hold out on Dwight McNeil for long as the sharks continue to circle around the prey. Manchester United is one of the teams who are seeking an alternative if they fail to structure a deal for Sancho due to the financial restrictions. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola is considering McNeil as a possible successor to Leroy Sane at left wing, as the exit of the German speedster looms over City’s head.
The Daily Mail also stated that Everton maintain a firm interest in the 20 year old. So is McNeil a viable option for the Toffees?
Without a doubt YES! Dwight McNeil would solve some major problems for Everton and even though there is a point to debate about what could another left winger do at Goodison Park while the club is in dire need of reinforcements at the right flank.
Burnley line up in a classic 4-4-2 and Carlo Ancelotti has adopted the same style at Everton although a bit more expansive than Sean Dyche’s pragmatic approach. McNeil is familiar with the shape and suits well in the role.
The 20 year old is a player who puts in an insane amount of hard work in the middle of the park, again a trait that you can inherit from Dyche’s characteristic sides. His positioning and tracking back of the opponents will reduce the load on Lucas Digne and allow the French full back to exploit spaces upfront as well. Despite being a left wide midfielder the Englishman averages 1.4 tackles per game is evidence about his industrious nature.
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Bernard has been decent but lacks massively when it comes to physicality and putting a defensive shift. The recurring injuries haven’t worked in his favour and have disrupted his rhythm from time to time. Bernard is not known to be an aggressive presser but McNeil is.
Perhaps, it is even worth noting that the Brazilian’s current Everton contract runs till 2022. McNeil’s signing may see a sale of Bernard and at the age of 27, he’ll generate a good amount of cash for the Toffees.
Dwight McNeil is a robust option for Everton. At Finch Farm, he’ll seemingly get more exposure and under the counsel of Carlo Ancelotti, he could metamorphosize into a brilliant and a world class wide left midfielder.
Should Everton sign Dwight McNeil and consider him as a Bernard replacement?