League One play-off Finalists Sunderland may face a battle to keep hold of their highly-rated midfielder Dan Neil in this summer’s transfer window.
However, Sunderland fan pundit Jack Austwicke, has added further fuel to the fire. Speaking to Football League World, he said: “Obviously right now with Dan Neil to go to Spurs he wouldn’t fit straight in.
“A League One player coming straight into a Premier League side is never going to happen really.
“But with a bit of nurture and care and training-up at such a high facility club, I do think he could get at a level where, one day, he could play Premier League football.”
Whilst it seems like a big ask to get a League One footballer to adapt to the pace of the Premier League, it is something that we’ve seen Spurs do before with Dele Alli.
Albeit, Alli’s trajectory has changed as of recent, but the case study that he created when he burst onto the scene with his ten goals and nine assists – in what was his debut season – serves as a model that League One prospects can look to follow.
Whilst he has started 67% of the Black Cats’ games in League One this season, his three goals and seven assists along the way have been integral in helping the side reach the play-offs. Couple that with his young age – he is still only 20 – and it would simply be a disaster if he left the club.
His potential is huge and as the Mackems aim to reach the Championship, he is the type of player that Neil should be building his side around, not losing to the jaws of the Premier League’s elite.
That happened time and time again under the reign of Stewart Donald with the likes of Bali Mumba, Josh Maja, Logan Pye and Joe Hugill all leaving for higher echelons.
As of early April, the mere £1.4k-per-week earner has seen his minutes dry up and if Spurs were to come calling, the North London club could surely convince the Englishman who has been dubbed a “major star”, by reporter Ross Gregory to join up with Antonio Conte’s squad.
If a Premier League side are reportedly interested in acquiring his services, then interest will most certainly be high in the summer. Black Cats boss Neil will surely face a battle to keep the young prodigy.