Rumor has it that Burnley are ready to listen to offers for Dwight McNeil, and Newcastle United are ready to invest £35m for his services.
Newcastle United have instructed their scouting department to hold off on any scouting operations indefinitely. Despite this new policy, which was implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Newcastle United have already identified several players they wish to pursue in the summer.
The Magpies have circled names across Europe, but one player on their list is currently playing in the Premier League, and he would be a top signing for the club. According to a new report out of Tyneside, Newcastle United are willing to pay £35m to secure the services of Burnley’s winger Dwight McNeil.
Even if the takeover of Newcastle United goes through in the near future, McNeil should remain at the top of the club’s summer wish list. The aforementioned report claims that Manchester United and Chelsea are also interested in the 20-year-old midfielder, but Newcastle United need to make a stellar pitch to land the youngster as he is capable of improving their offensive efficiency.
Only 20, McNeil already has 51 Premier League appearances under his belt and has five goals and ten assists to his name. In the 29 games McNeil has played in this season he scored two goals and completed a respectable tally of five assists.
What’s more impressive about McNeil statistics is how many chances he has created for others around him to threaten opposing keepers. This season the youngster created 11 big chances for his teammates, and that is not surprising due to the fact that he has delivered 193 crosses into the penalty area.
When looking at the number of crosses delivered by Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maxmin, Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu, the four wingers only have a combined total of 139 crosses. To be fair, though, Almiron and Saint-Maximin are not traditional wingers who look to set others up with crosses. Instead, they are both dynamic players who enjoy taking defenders on and cutting inside to attack up the middle.
That being said, the arrival of McNeil would provide more quality for Newcastle United out wide, and he would bring the best out of Almiron as well. By playing McNeil on the opposite wing of Saint-Maximin, Almiron could finally move into his traditional number ten role in which he excelled while playing for Atlanta United in the MLS.
Moreover, by having two technically gifted players with great pace out wide, defenders would have to be spaced out in order to contain McNeil and Saint-Maximin. This, in turn, opens at least one channel for Almiron to break into the penalty area and get more meaningful looks at goal on a regular basis.
As I mentioned earlier, Manchester United and Chelsea are also in the race and any player would want to suit up for them, but Newcastle United should not back down in their pursuit of McNeil. Fans around the league would perceive a transfer to Newcastle United as a horizontal move for the Burnley winger, but the trio of McNeil, Almiron, and Saint-Maximin right behind the front line would be lethal.