Juventus, AC Milan, Leicester City and Wolves target Dwight McNeil becoming "a very rounded player" at Burnley, insists boss Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche believes Dwight McNeil is becoming a more "rounded" player at Burnley.
Dwight McNeilDwight McNeil
Dwight McNeil

Allied with his obvious ability as regards dribbling and crossing, the 20-year-old - who started every Premier League game for the Clarets last season - is having to do some work he possibly wouldn't have to at an elite club.

Burnley usually have less possession in games, meaning the England Under 21 international has more defensive duties, making more tackles, interceptions and clearances than he might be expected to at a Big Six club.

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Speculation continues as regards his future - with up to seven Premier League clubs interested in him, as well as Serie A giants Juventus and AC Milan.

And while Dyche accepts he will one day "forge his way to times bigger than us”, he believes it is doing McNeil no harm whatsoever playing regular Premier League football with Burnley.

Dyche said: "I think, against some of the young players at some of the super power clubs going into teams, he does have to work both ways - that's the team we are, he knows that.

"He's got to learn all parts of the game, and that's brilliant for young player development.

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"A lot of young players now know one thing, not the other, often attack-minded, but he's having to learn both, and doing a great job of it.

"That will create a very rounded player, and he's very honest with his work ethic, and also very talented and finding a healthy balance."

They are different types of player, but, by comparison, McNeil made more tackles last season in 38 games (47), than Jack Grealish has in 70 top-flight appearances in total (45), and had 27 clearances to Grealish's total of 17, with 11 headed clearances to six.

If you add that to six assists each last term, with McNeil creating more big chances (12 to eight), the only area McNeil is behind the Villa star is in goals, where he only netted two, to Grealish's eight.

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That side of his output is an area where he knows he can improve, but if McNeil is making chances, and doing a job against the ball as well, it is little wonder big clubs are looking at him.

And as Dyche has noted, even when he is having a quiet game, hsi is capable of influencing things with a moment of quality: "It is certainly a massive benefit for young players to learn how to do that.

"When you are young, to find a consistency in your performances across a number of games is difficult.

"People forget there is a consistency within a performance, doing the right things as much as you can all of the time.

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"It is something that often comes with maturity where, if it is not going to be your day to be the main man, still do the bit for the team that counts.

"I think that is what Dwight is learning to do.

"He is still getting in the right positions defensively, still working to do the right things and then when his moment comes we know he is a talent. He is working now for his moments.

"Particularly wide players, not just in our side, wide players can be really quiet in games.

"You can have 15 minutes where you hardly see the ball, but then that one chance you get is your moment to go and deliver, and even then sometimes the decision is not to deliver something clever, it's actually to just keep the ball and play simple.

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"I think he is doing a good job of learning that, and I think he has a nice balance to his temperament that is allowing him to learn that.

"He is definitely in a good group of people around him because the players treat him with a lot of respect, but equally can get their arm around his shoulder or give him a nudge when he needs it.

"He is doing nicely that's for sure."