Sunderland journalist Phil Smith has been sharing his excitement over Black Cats midfielder Dan Neil and his future with the Wearside club.
This comes after Smith made an appearance on a recent episode of The Roar Podcast from the Sunderland Echo where he spoke about a range of topics concerning Lee Johnson’s side.
On the subject of Sunderland’s recent 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley, where Neil scored their opening goal of the game, Smith had this to say about the player:
(11:37) “I think he’s someone who very clearly takes everything in his stride, and you can see that through the consistency of performance through the early stages of the season.
“I think he’s a really, really good player, I felt that from the moment he broke through last pre-season. I thought his performances then were just so mature, so different to what we’d seen from a lot of Sunderland’s midfielders in previous years.
(12:46) “I can’t stress enough what a down-to-earth young lad he is and that’s what makes you, even over and above the talent, that’s what makes you think Sunderland have got a real gem here, someone who is really kind of candid about how much more work he has to do and what he wants to achieve.
“I’m just really looking forward to watching him develop. It’s been a real pleasure to watch the first stage of his career and I’m just looking forward to watching the next steps now.”
TIF Thoughts on Phil Smith’s comments on Dan Neil at Sunderland…
Taking into account how Neil has played every minute of action for Sunderland in League One so far this season, adding the goal he scored against Accrington to the two assists he’s managed to pick up in the campaign (all stats via WhoScored), it’s safe to say the 19-year-old has been an important figure for Johnson’s side so far. It’s also easy to see why Smith has been so impressed with him on the pitch as well as off it regarding his attitude, as he spoke about in the podcast.
Do you think Dan Neil will have a big future at Sunderland?
Moving forward, if Neil can continue to play regularly for Sunderland and keep being a useful attacking threat for his side in front of goal, we see no reason as to why he can’t go on and be seen as one of their most important players in their bid for promotion after his initial development.