An update has emerged regarding Aston Villa’s interest in winger Dwight McNeil.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa could step up their interest in Burnley winger Dwight McNeil after failing in their attempts to take Emile Smith-Rowe away from Premier League rivals Arsenal this summer.
The report claims that Dean Smith wants another attacking option to compete in the three positions behind Ollie Watkins, with McNeil believed to be a target. Burnley are ready to demand £40m for the England under-21 international.
Sporting director Johan Lange must get this deal done for Villa as he could strike gold for Smith. McNeil has already proven himself at Premier League level and would come in as an exciting player with plenty of potential, one who could drive the club forwards for years to come.
If Villa have £40m in the bank to spend on a player, they should spend it on McNeil. Of course, if Lange is able to negotiate a more attractive package for the winger then he should look to do that, but if that is not feasible then they should match Burnley’s asking price and do all they can to ensure that he is playing in a different claret and blue shirt next season.
McNeil’s Burnley teammate Ashley Westwood called him a “special” talent and said that he would not be surprised if teams became interested in the forward because of his performances for the Clarets in recent seasons.
“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.”
McNeil has been a regular for Burnley in the top-flight over the past three seasons. Since the start of the 2018/19 campaign, the winger has provided seven goals and 17 assists in the Premier League – averaging 1.3 key passes per game. This shows that he has the quality to contribute consistently in the attacking third in terms of creativity, but his goalscoring could do with some work.
At the age of 21, he is also far from the finished article. This means that he could be a player that Smith is able to coach and improve over the course of several seasons. Therefore, the £40m fee could be good value in both the short term and the long term for Villa and that is exactly why Lange could be striking gold with a swoop for the winger.
It would be a move that Aston Villa supporters would love to see happen.