Crystal Palace have been regularly linked with Burnley‘s Dwight McNeil throughout the transfer window, and he could prove to be Patrick Vieira’s next £40m player at Selhurst Park.
Both Palace and West Ham are said to be interested in the 22-year-old, who could be set to leave Turf Moor following Burnley’s relegation to the Championship.
The 22-year-old, who would reportedly cost £15m, is a product of Burnley’s academy and has gone on to make 147 appearances for the club, in which he has contributed seven goals and 17 assists.
When he first broke onto the scene with the Lancashire club, Sean Dyche was full of praise for the winger, saying:
“He continues to grow. Every time I wonder whether I should leave him out, I think, ‘No, keep the boy playing’. It’s good for him and it’s good for us.
“If he keeps his head down and keeps working like he is doing, he’s got a massive future.”
Should Palace sign McNeil?
Although he struggled for form last season, he is still only 22 and could easily still develop into a top player under Vieira’s coaching.
According to FbRef, the most similar player to McNeil in terms of play style is Everton youngster Anthony Gordon.
After a breakthrough campaign that saw the 21-year-old contribute four and two assists in the Premier League, Gordon has been linked with Newcastle United, but the Toon have been told to pay £40m for his services.
According to WhoScored both McNeil and Gordon like to cross and take long shots, which suggests that they are equally as confident taking the ball down the line and crossing as they are at cutting in at shooting.
FbRef also sees both McNeil and Gordon score extremely highly for tackles, interceptions, pressures and blocks, which suggests that both wingers are more than willing to track back and defend, something which Vieira would surely appreciate.
Therefore, it is clear that the two are very similar players, and given that McNeil is just one year older than the Everton man, there seems no reason why he can’t have a similarly good season in a Palace shirt and also be valued at £40m in the near future.
AND, in other news: Patrick Vieira reveals huge Palace transfer development, supporters will be devastated