Aston Villa could land a massive upgrade on Anwar El Ghazi in the form of Burnley’s exciting winger, Dwight McNeil.
Reports in recent days have suggested that Dean Smith’s side remain interested in signing the England U21 international this summer, and the Villa boss will know all about the danger that McNeil can cause.
In Burnley’s 3-2 Premier League win over Villa back in January, the 21-year-old scored one and made one as the Clarets came from behind twice to win at home and silence Smith’s side.
As per Sofascore, he finished with a match rating of 8.0, which was by far the highest of any player on the pitch, and when you look at some of the key underlying numbers, it’s easy to see why.
He provided the joint-high amount of key passes for his side, delivered the most accurate crosses of any player on the day, and also came up with two shots on goal, including the one to make it 2-2.
That directness and exciting potential is something that has his teammate at Burnley, Ashley Westwood, raving about him.
He said: “He’s really mature. I think the world of him, he’s a special talent. It’s been good to see him grow up because when he first came training with us he was really quiet.
“He’s already racked up more than 50 games in the Premier League now, which at his age is phenomenal. He’s producing as well so if he keeps doing that and we all keep doing what we’re doing then there will be teams circulating.”
And, when you compare his stats to that of El Ghazi, it really is night and day.
While the Dutchman averaged more shots than McNeil, in every other department, the Burnley man betters him considerably.
As per Whosored, he averaged more key passes, dribbles and crosses per game in the Premier League, while also boasting a far better passing accuracy and being fouled more times per match too.
And, a lot of El Ghazi’s success for Villa came in just two streaks rather than any real consistency, with runs of five goals in five games in December, and then four in seven to close out the season.
Not only did he virtually take down Villa on his own, but McNeil showed on the day and over the course of the entire Premier League season, that he really would be a major upgrade on El Ghazi.