Dwight McNeil emerges as Burnley MVP

Statistics show wideman Dwight McNeil has emerged as Burnley’s most valuable player so far this season.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:28 am
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Dwight McNeil of Burnley crosses the ball ahead of Martin Kelly of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor on November 30, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The CIES Football Observatory has developed an algorithm to assess the performance of players from exclusive data produced by leading sports company OptaPro, looking at the MVP of each club in the big five leagues in Europe, as well as the top values for each of six areas of the game.

Players had to play at least nine games to be considered for MVP, and six for each category.

The MVPs are the players whose performance had the biggest influence in their team’s results.

At Burnley, McNeil is top of the pile for take ons, or dribbles, and emerges as the overall MVP.

He is fifth overall in the Premier League as regards volume of crosses

However, it is midfielder Ashley Westwood who is the key man in terms of chance creation, or assists, as well as distribution.

Westwood has three assists so far this season, with his delivery from set pieces a huge asset for the Clarets.

McNeil has four, as well as one goal so far this term.

Centre back James Tarkowski also tops two categories, coming out in front in terms of recovery, or interceptions, as well as rigour, or individual duels.

He is joint top in the Premier League in headed clearances, equal third in aerial battles won, equal sixth for blocks, and eighth overall for clearances.

Shooting is the sixth category, with striker Ashley Barnes the pick in that department.

His accuracy has led to him scoring six goals so far this season, only just overtaken on Saturday by strike partner Chris Wood with seven.

The full findings from all the clubs in the big five leagues in Europe are at football-observatory.com/IMG/sites/b5wp/2019/wp278/en/

In terms of Premier League clubs, Virgil van Dijk comes out as Liverpool’s MVP, with Jamie Vardy top man at second place Leicester City.

Kevin de Bruyne is the pick at Manchester City, while Jorginho has emerged as Chelsea’s key figure.

Son is Spurs’ MVP, in-form Marcus Rashford is Manchester United’s star, and, rounding out the top 10 clubs are John Fleck, Raul Jiminez, Martin Kelly and Nicolas Pepe.