Everton agreed a fee with recently relegated Burnley for Dwight McNeil. The Athletic claimed that the Merseyside club sends around $25 million for the wide midfielder. In coming over to Goodison, reports claim McNeil signed a five-year contract with Everton. Previously, the 22-year-old winger spent his entire senior career with the Clarets, prior to moving from Manchester United as a youth player.
In such a defensive Burnley team, McNeil flew under the radar. His goal and assists totals from recent seasons do not overly impress the masses. Yet, other statistics give Everton fans some hope. One of the areas that McNeil does excel at is dribbling. In fact, only Newcastle United’s Allan Saint-Maximin recorded more successful dribbles in the Premier League last season than McNeil. The Burnley winger dribbles well, and he dribbles often. His overall dribble success rate surpassed players like Raphinha, Wilfried Zaha and Mohamed Salah.
Also, McNeil has a knack for creating goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates. The England international did have just one assist in last season’s campaign with Burnley. Even then, his 47 key passes came in at a higher tally than Jarrod Bowen, James Maddison and Reece James. For comparison, these three players combined for 27 assists in the Premier League last season. Clearly, Burnley’s defensive, and frankly poor, team hindered McNeil’s assist totals in recent seasons.
Everton seek clinical Dwight McNeil
Shooting is an area that McNeil will have to improve on if he is a success at Everton. In fact, he failed to score a league goal despite featuring in all 38 games during the season. Looking deeper into the reasons why McNeil’s goal output was so low, we will notice that he takes most of his shots from far out from goal. The winger did not record a shot from inside the six-yard area. Moreover, he took 63% of his shots during Premier League play from outside of the penalty area. McNeil hopes to get into more attacking areas with Everton.
The reported $25 million fee for the still young McNeil seems like a solid option for Everton. He clearly has room to improve, but there is a good base to build on. Along with his impressive dribbles and creative numbers, McNeil only missed four total matches due to injury in his senior career with Burnley. He also puts up huge numbers in defense from the winger position. Everton boss Frank Lampard should love the effort he gets out of his new player.
Following the sale of Richarlison earlier in the summer to Spurs for around $64 million, Everton clearly had some money to spend. However, as the club narrowly escaped relegation last season, as well as selling one of their most important players this summer, the Merseyside club will need to make a few more additions to the squad before the summer transfer window shuts. McNeil’s former teammate at Burnley, Maxwel Cornet, could also be on his way to Everton in the coming days.
PHOTO: Marc Atkins/Getty Images
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