Aston Villa could sign a hugely exciting upgrade on Anwar El Ghazi in Burnley star Dwight McNeil.
Reports over the course of the summer transfer window suggested that Dean Smith’s side were very much interested in signing the England youth international, but a deal failed to materialise before the deadline.
Now, McNeil has opened up on the fact he ended up staying at Turf Moor despite the interest in him, and shed some light on some of the rumours surrounding him over the summer.
He said: “I heard it, but nothing came about it. When I asked my agents the question, they hadn’t heard anything. When I spoke to my dad and family about it, the main thing, for me, at the time, I am still a Burnley player.
“I think, in the summer, it was important for me to still keep thinking about Burnley and my ambitions are with Burnley this season. The main thing is that I am here and happy to be at the club.”
While McNeil has suggested he is happy to be at Burnley, there’s absolutely no reason why Villa shouldn’t be pursuing a move for him again in the January transfer window, or even next summer.
At just 21, the winger has got plenty of time to grow and develop under Smith at Villa Park, and that potential is something his teammate with the Clarets, Ashley Westwood, has previously raved about.
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, with reports in recent weeks and months claiming that Villa would be open to selling El Ghazi, the Midlands club could sign a major upgrade on the Dutchman in McNeil.
When you compare his stats to that of El Ghazi, it really is night and day.
While the Dutchman averaged more shots than McNeil last season in the Premier League, 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.
The £26m-rated star could add to an already exciting Villa attack, and is exactly why Smith should go back in for him amid latest transfer comments.