McNeil sets sights on England call


Burnley forward Dwight McNeil hopes that his form in the Premier League will eventually lead to a senior England call.

The 19-year-old burst on to the scene with Burnley last season, starting 19 Premier League matches, and he has been in the starting XI for all four of this season’s league games.

Energetic performances earned him rave reviews with Burnley fans in 2018-19 and they believe he has all the qualities to be a star of the future.

McNeil’s exploits earned him a spot in the England under-20 set up in March and he went on to feature for them at the Toulon Tournament over the summer.

He scored his first goal for the under-20s at that competition and was rightly rewarded with a promotion to the under-21 squad during the current international break.

However, he had to withdraw from duty with the Young Lions earlier this week due to a minor injury and he will have to wait until October to learn if he is invited back.

But McNeil, who signed a new deal with the Clarets in January, has lofty ambitions and has revealed that he has already set his sights on forcing his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans.

McNeil said: “I’m ready. It’s a big step in my career and hopefully, as the years go by, I’ll progress to the senior team.

“It’s all come around so fast since breaking in to the team in December. I’m happy that it’s come around this quickly, I’ve taken it on really well. Everything’s happened so fast, but it’s all about taking it in and cracking on with it.”

A senior call-up doesn’t appear to be an unattainable goal for the wideman based on Southgate’s track record since taking charge of the Three Lions.

Southgate has put his faith in youth during his tenure and that will offer plenty of hope to McNeil over the course of 2019-20.