Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace: Journalist thinks Eagles could be favourites to land wanted winger

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Journalist Pete O’Rourke believes that Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira could play a major role in bringing Dwight McNeil to the club.

The 22-year-old Burnley star has been linked with a move to Selhurst Park following the Clarets’ relegation from the Premier League last season.

It is thought that the Turf Moor outfit want at least £10m for the left-sided midfielder, with West Ham United also keeping a watchful eye on his situation.

McNeil has two years left on his current contract in Lancashire, but new manager Vincent Kompany has already lost Nick Pope and James Tarkowski, meaning that the club may only be persuaded to let go of the former England U21 international should a suitable offer arise.

O’Rourke has now claimed that Vieira’s pedigree as a player may entice McNeil to choose the Eagles over other suitors.

He told GiveMeSport“Patrick Vieira, we know what a player he was in the Premier League, he’s a Premier League legend, so I’m sure he does have a lot of pulling power for players, and it does look like he is building an exciting young team at Crystal Palace right now.

“He had a good first season in charge and made some good signings as well, so I’m sure if Dwight McNeil was to make the move to Crystal Palace, Patrick Vieira would play a huge role in that, and his pulling power might help him to make that move to London.”

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As Vieira opted to deploy Wilfried Zaha down the middle at times last term, it left only Jeffrey Schlupp as his only other natural option on the left, and with uncertainty surrounding the talisman, it’s an area that may need reinforcing.

McNeil, who has been hailed as ‘sensational’, appeared in all but two of Burnley’s Premier League games across the past three seasons and was described as ‘dangerous’ by his former manager Sean Dyche due to his fantastic crossing ability, which saw him accumulate 16 assists in the top flight from 2018/19 to 2020/21.

As Burnley eventually fell through the trap door, McNeil’s influence did tend to wane, providing one goal contribution, but his work off the ball typified his desire.

According to FBRef, he ranks in the top 1% of fellow wingers across Europe over the past year for blocks per 90 as well as appearing in the 98th percentile for interceptions, and he could be a vital addition in SE25 as the south London club look to build on their 12th-placed finish in Vieira’s maiden season at the helm.

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