Clarets boss backs winger McNeil for Young Lions call

Burnley's Dwight McNeil in action''Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport''The Premier League - Liverpool v Burnley - Sunday 10th March 2019 - Anfield - Liverpool''World Copyright � 2019 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
Burnley's Dwight McNeil in action''Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport''The Premier League - Liverpool v Burnley - Sunday 10th March 2019 - Anfield - Liverpool''World Copyright � 2019 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

Sean Dyche believes Dwight McNeil is firmly in the mix for a first England Under 21 call-up.

The 19-year-old again outlined his huge potential at Anfield on Sunday, as Burnley lost 4-2 to Liverpool, and feels he has a big chance of being named in Aidy Boothroyd’s squad.

The Young Lions host Poland at Ashton Gate a week on Thursday, and then face European champions Germany at the Vitality Stadium a fortnight tomorrow.

With Tom Heaton and James Tarkowski, potentially among others, hoping for a call for the senior squad tomorrow, McNeil is being tipped for the Young Lions, after starting the last 11 Premier League games, scoring once and claiming four assists.

He was a shining light in Burnley’s 4-2 defeat against Liverpool on Sunday, giving Liverpool’s Three Lions right back Trent Alexander-Arnold several uncomfortable moments.

And Dyche said: “It was an absolute top-drawer performance from Dwight McNeil.

“That young man has got a massive chance of being a top, top player in my opinion.

“He continues to grow.

“Every time I wonder whether I should leave him out, I think ‘no, keep the boy playing’.

“I think it’s good for him, and us, but if he keeps his head down and keeps working like he is doing, he’s got a massive future.

“I thought he was winning the battle (with Alexander-Arnold), and he’s a fantastic right back.

“But I thought Dwight was outstanding, just his composure and belief in what he does.”

McNeil was withdrawn at half-time at Newcastle United a fortnight ago, with Dyche taking responsibility, and he added: “He had one blip, which was probably my fault, I should have taken him out at Newcastle after the euphoria of beating Tottenham, but other than that, he’s been outstanding.

“I could have taken him off, but I didn’t want to, I was enjoying his performance that much, I thought ‘keep playing son’.

“Fantastic to see youngsters going and doing that.”

Asked whether he has a chance of an Under 21 call, Dyche added: “I would think he’s got to be considered.

“But I never question any managers choosing a team or squad, because it’s difficult.”

McNeil and left back Charlie Taylor were Burnley’s standout performers at Liverpool, and Dyche feels Taylor is also making huge strides: “I thought the left side was strong.

“Charlie Taylor is another one who has developed as the season has gone on.

“He keeps growing and growing and maturing.”