'Dwight could slot into any team in the Premier League' - Sean Dyche insists McNeil will come again after being left out
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McNeil was replaced by Maxwel Cornet against the Toffees, with the Ivory Coast international scoring the winning goal.
But with no goals and two assists, McNeil was left out as Dyche went with Cornet’s greater attacking threat.
However, there is a balance to be had, with McNeil more effective against the ball out of possession – he has slipped to joint 12th in terms of tackles in the Premier League this season, but alongside defensive midfielders such as Yves Bissouma of Brighton and Spurs’ Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Asked whether the right balance was possible, Dyche smiled: “It is possible, and it’s called £77million!
“It is the balance of the team and how they are operating.
"There are varying reasons, and the other night I just felt Maxwel with his running off the shoulder...he breaks the backline slightly better than Dwight, because he is wiser at that side of his game.
“Dwight is slightly wiser in the defensive side of the game, and has been with us longer so has seen that side of it.
“It is about the right game, the right player and the right feel.”
Dyche feels it is part of McNeil’s development, and he will be better for it: “Dwight will come through, there’s a lot of noise about him this season, and that can play on a player, it really can.
"Particularly when you are younger.
"He has got ability, no two ways about it, he could slot into any team in the Premier League, I am convinced of that with his technical ability.
"And he continues to learn the game, when to get higher up the pitch and break the back line, and when to go high and wide.
"His usual game is to come in and drop short to get the ball, but what he has to work on, which he is doing, is recognising the opportunities to get wide and run forwards. When he does that he is a real threat.”