Premier spotlight is no issue for Burnley's England Under 21 international Dwight McNeil
Clarets boss Sean Dyche isn’t concerned about the spotlight falling on Dwight McNeil.
McNeil, who turns 20 tomorrow, has enjoyed a remarkable year, becoming a regular with Burnley, and earning a place in the England Under 21 squad.
Only Kevin De Bruyne has more Premier League assists so far this season, and, before his birthday, he was one of just three teenagers with at least four assists in Europe’s big five leagues, with England and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Parma’s Dejan Kulusevski (pictured) – who played at Turf Moor in pre-season – with five.
But despite the increased attention his performances inevitably bring, Dyche isn’t remotely concerned: “I think with young players, we want to see them thriving in the Premier League and as long as it is the right attention, which it is, then I think it is valid.
“He is a top young player, I have been saying it for months. He continues to show it.”
And Dyche believes McNeil is in a good position, given father Matty also played professional football, with Macclesfield Town and Stockport County: “He is quite quiet and quite humble.
“His dad was a player, and I think that is helpful because he can advise, not only as a dad, but the fact that he has been a player as well.
“He is a humble lad who wants to enjoy his football, but is respected though, by us and the other players.”
McNeil himself has vowed to let his football do the talking as the transfer speculation cranks up: “I don’t take any interest in that, I just worry about my football.
“I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing and see where that takes me.
“It gives you confidence, but the gaffer and all the lads know how to keep my feet on the ground. I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing and let my football do the talking.
“I think I’m doing well, but I also think there’s a lot of room for improvement. I’ll just keep on working hard in training and in games and I’ll see where it takes me. He [Sean Dyche] tells me when I’m doing well and also when I’m not doing too well, which is what I need.
“He’s a really good manager who leaves me to it really, he trusts all the players.”