Spurs made McNeil enquiry prior to Clarke move

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

Tottenham Hotspur enquired about signing Burnley winger Dwight McNeil before shifting their focus to Leeds United’s Jack Clarke, per The Sun.

What’s the word?

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McNeil made his first-team breakthrough last season, playing 26 times in all competitions.

The 19-year-old scored three goals in the Premier League and registered five assists and has been capped at Under-20 level by England.

The report claims that Spurs asked about the possibility of securing his signature but moved onto to Clarke instead, with the Whites youngster reportedly poised to complete his £10m move in the coming days.

McNeil has a £30m asking price at Turf Moor and Juventus are also said to be taking an interest in his progress.

A prohibitive fee

Paying £30m for a player who has had one good season in the top-flight just isn’t Spurs’ style.

McNeil is clearly a player of promise, notching up three goals and five assists in the Premier League.

But the deal to sign Clarke from Leeds is about £20m cheaper for a player with a similar level of experience – he’s featured 25 times for the first-team, albeit many of those appearances coming in the Championship, and has found two goals and two assists.

Some may claim that this is an example of Spurs merely seeking out the cheapest possible acquisition. But this is actually the better outcome for a club who are looking to inject youth into their squad this summer.

It remains to be seen if Clarke will make an impact next term, of course, but one feels Spurs have made the correct call. Has McNeil really done enough in just 26 games to suggest he’s worth three times as much as Clarke?

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