Everton have been linked with a number of wingers this summer, with most names being established figures in the top-flights of some of Europe’s biggest leagues.
Burnley’s Dwight McNeil may not currently harbour the same awareness as players such as David Neres or Bertrand Traore, but like the Brazilian and Burkina Faso internationals, the Englishman is thought to be on Marcel Brands’ radar.
According to the Burnley Express, the Toffees, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Newcastle United are all showing an interest in signing the 19-year-old, and Clarets defender James Tarkowski feels it is only natural that clubs like us are interested in the former Manchester United youth.
Up until the 2018/19 season, the Rochdale-born ace had only ever made one senior appearance lasting a single minute, but Sean Dyche saw the potential in the left-winger to hand him further minutes in the recent campaign with appearances in the Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup.
By the end of the term, McNeil racked up 26 appearances totalling 2,006 minutes, with his name included in 50% of Dyche’s Premier League team sheets, where he would score three goals and register five assists. Burnley also rewarded his increased status with a new four-and-a-half-year contract at the turn of the year.
His efforts have not gone amiss beyond the walls of Turf Moor and those thought to be interested either, as McNeil also made his international debut in March as part of Paul Simpson’s England Under 20s, with whom he would travel to France for this summer’s Toulon Tournament and score his first Young Lions goal.
French publication L’Equipe are also evident admirers of the teenager, as they named McNeil 40th in their Top 50 U20 players, noting his calm, silent approach to the game without hiding in the shadows when the whistle blows makes him a talent worth €25million (£22.3m), vastly more than his £13.5million TransferMarkt valuation.
Brands would certainly be looking to the future by making a move for the Burnley wide man, but Tarkowski’s praise suggests he has the talent to succeed.
“It’s only natural,” he said. “Any player doing well in the game will have people sniffing around them, especially with the age he is. He’s still so young and he’s got so much time to improve.
“That statistic [that he was the most productive teenager in the PL] wouldn’t surprise me, because of his quality and the demand from him. He wants the ball, he wants to beat people, he’s gone to some big places and gone up against some big players and shown how good he is.
“Away at Anfield, even though we were beaten, he was our best player that day, and he’s probably been one of our best players over the second half of the season. That shows how good he is, but he just needs to keep doing that now.”