Dwight McNeil (4.4) is a very tasty differential player in the sub 5 million midfielder category. The ginger Mourinho has breathed new life into this Burnley side, adding attacking output to the defensive solidity we’ve come to expect from them. Not unrelated to this sudden vein of form, is the introduction of the 19 year old Dwight McNeil, who has already provided 1 goal and 3 assists in only 893 minutes. I’ll be taking a deep dive into his statistics to see if these returns are sustainable.
For a player in a defensively minded Burnley side, these attacking stats are quite inspiring. McNeil bangs 2.02 shots per 90, and lays off 1.71 key passes for his teammates. These attacking numbers outshine those of other popular midfield option David Brooks, but his xG per 90 lets him down, at 0.14 per game compared to Brooks’ 0.30. This however could be attributed to the quality of players around him and the goal scoring opportunities that are created for them.
Now, McNeil is sitting at a healthy 1.47 total xG, meaning that he’s actually under-performing his expected goals by 0.47. and his xA is currently at 2.28, indicating a sizable over-performance of 1.72. It’s always a very good sign when players’ expected totals are staying near their actual output, as it suggests that they’re not simply being fortunate in their returns. The over-performance on expected assists does somewhat concern me, as the majority of McNeil’s points have come from assists, leading me to believe his game to game average score may cool down in the near future.
The left midfielder certainly isn’t afraid to bang a shot from range, with many of his attempts coming from outside the box. However, two of these are from direct free kicks, which indicates tremendous value from a 4.4 million player. The rest of his shots are taken from good locations in the box, generating a few >0.10 xG chances. It should also be noted, this is a lot of shots to be taken in just 893 minutes! You would be hard pressed to find a more attacking minded player in his price range.
To wrap things all up, these stats suggest to me that McNeil has a significant attacking role within Burnley and will continue to trickle in small returns over the rest of the season. I’ll be bringing him in on my wildcard to replace Victor Camarasa (4.6), as McNeil is the outstanding choice among super cheap starting midfielders, and would make a sensible choice for the 5th midfield slot for any manager.
Key Passes/90: 1.71