Journalist Graeme Atkinson has compared Sunderland teenager Daniel Neil to star player Aiden McGeady after the youngster impressed in a recent appearance.
The 19-year-old claimed a fine assist for Aiden O’Brien in the Black Cats’ recent Carabao Cup win over Blackpool. Neil slid a precise through-ball for his teammate to run onto as his team battled to a 3-2 victory.
The moment was emblematic of the teenager’s fine start to the season, which has drawn praise from Atkinson when discussed on Sunderland podcast The Roar.
Talking about Neil’s impact on the team, the journalist said: “It’s been a pleasure to watch him play. He seems like he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet.
“Firstly, I didn’t really have any sort of expectations around him, I hadn’t really seen a lot of him, so the fact that he’s come in and took his chance and took it really well – credit to the lad.
“ I think the pass that he made in the Blackpool game for one of the goals was just – I remember thinking, who else in the team could make a pass like that?”
“And, I couldn’t think of anyone. And then I thought, well, McGeady in the [Papa John’s] cup final – the ball to Gooch. McGeady’s was better, but you know, there’s not many players [who] have the vision and then the ability to execute the pass.”
TIF Thoughts on Daniel Neil and Sunderland…
Still, the 19-year-old has quickly become an important member of the Sunderland team this season, making seven appearances in all competitions already and collecting three assists along the way. He will no doubt be hoping to help the club return to the Championship this season.