Erik Pieters believes Burnley teammate Dwight McNeil can go all the way to the top
Erik Pieters believes Burnley teammate Dwight McNeil can go right to the top of the game.
The Netherland international has made 17 appearances this season since a summer switch from Stoke City, and seen the 20-year-old wideman at close quarters down the left flank.
McNeil has started every single Premier League game this term, and 47 of the last 48, earning England Under 20 and Under 21 honours along the way.
His qualities are beginning to attract speculation linking him with moves away, to former club Manchester United, Everton and Crystal Palace - with Juventus also rumoured to be interested last summer.
And Pieters looks forward to seeing his career develop.
Asked by talkSPORT whether McNeil can go right to the top, Pieters said: "Absolutely, he's got the possibility to go all the way to the top level.
"He's still young, he's showing, before the lockdown, week in, week out, that he's in a good level, and I still believe when he keeps working hard on himself every single day, giving 100%, that he can reach that.
"Everyone can see his ability, what he can do."
Pieters knows that potential is no guarantee of future success, having won the European Under 21 Championship with the Netherlands in 2007, alongside the likes of Royston Drenthe, who moved to Real Madrid that summer, but struggled to make an impact.
He added: "Of course, with a young kid, you have games where he is a bit quiet, but that's normal.
"I've been there, so for him now, he had a really good run before the lockdown, you see him growing every single week, growing up every single week.
"That's a good thing, and I'm looking forward to seeing where his career ends.
"I believe his head is on the right track and I can't wait for him to experience that."
Pieters is currently being kept out of the side by Charlie Taylor, but is delighted to be back in the Premier League, and enjoying working under Sean Dyche: "Yeah, he's an old school manager, but I kind of like it.
"I had a small step to France (on loan at Amiens), decided to do that because I wasn't playing at Stoke, even though I thought I should play, but that's the manager's opinion, and there's nothing wrong with that.
"At that point you choose for yourself and I chose to go to Ligue 1 to make sure I was back in the picture, I wanted to go back in the Premier League and play there.
"It worked out that Burnley came around the corner, I had a talk with the manager and, yeah, training under Sean Dyche is old school, but it works.
"It's all the basics, all the ground work, what I had when I was a young kid coming into the first team at FC Utrecht, all the guys teaching me how to do your job.
"It's all the small things, but really good to do."