Crystal Palace & West Ham go head-to-head for the signing of Dwight McNeil

Talib Haider
By Talib Haider
7 Min Read
Dwight-McNeil-Burnley

Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace was an upward wind last season, with the Eagles finishing their top-flight season in 12th position. Now, it seems that the Frenchman just wants to continue setting higher standards than ever before. With the signings like Malcolm Ebiowei, and Cheick Doucoure, already completed, it seems as if Palace and Vieira don’t want to shy away from the ongoing 2022 summer transfer window. Not Yet! According to multiple reports, coming in from the UK, the South Londoners are also very close to signing the Molineux ace in Gibbs-White

All of these attacking signings, and links, are no doubt coming in after their last year’s unsung hero Conor Gallagher returned to his parent club, Chelsea. So, it is for sure that Patrick Vieira will not be looking to let that affect his team’s performances moving into the next season. And in order to make sure that the reshape is well on track, the Frenchman is urging his club to spend in the given transfer market. It is not about how much money is being spent, rather it is about how much of a value the player can bring to the club and to the whole setting.

Meanwhile, one might say that this is a true statement for every single club. On paper- yes! But, is it really? Manchester United signed some big stars before the start of the last season, and even before so. The likes of Harry Maguire, Donny Van De Beek, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, and world cup winner, Raphael Varane, have all failed miserably. And with all due respect, the sides like Crystal Palace, Southampton, West Ham, Wolves, etc. cannot even spend this type of “crazy money”. So, they would eventually have to go in-depth with their research and analytics to get a deal done.

And this is what is happening right now in the transfer market between Palace and their London rivals, West Ham, in particular!

Crystal Palace eyeing for a late McNeil sweep off of West Ham?

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The Hammers have been in the Dwight McNeil chase, for a long time now. A West Ham fan page reported the news of the rumoured links, between the player and the club, about a fortnight ago. Since then, it has become anything but a rumour, with the news gathering pace and material both over the time.

But (there is always a but, isn’t it?), it seems like they have finally gotten a rival in their bid to get the player to sign a deal for a move to the London Stadium. Crystal Palace, West Ham’s London rivals, have reportedly shown interest in the talented-relegated youngster, Dwight McNeil. According to the Sun’s exclusive reports, Dwight McNeil is one of the hottest picks for Vieira to fill in for the versatile attacking option in his squad, knowing that they might have to rival the already interested Hammers for it.

The cherry on the cake, Burnley have put a said valuation of over £10 million and they are not looking to negotiate this any much lower than it already is! Given the 22-year-old English winger has 2 years left on his current contract, the valuation could be a bargain for any of these sides who will be looking to get his services for the next season and beyond.

WHY DWIGHT MCNEIL?

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A curiosity, more than a quizzical question I suppose, What can McNeil bring, that other can’t? The answer is nothing… Nothing, that has not already been witnessed. But, the main aspect we have to look at is the “value for money” aspect, the point we talked about earlier. Both, West Ham and Crystal Palace are not ones that are known for their spending in the market. In other words, they are neither big earners nor are they big spenders. Definitely not!

So, someone like Dwight McNeil who has the pedigree to make a difference in the Premier League, and at his age, could very well be one for the future. In his span at Turf Moor, so far in the top-flight English league, McNeil has racked up 147 appearances and has scored 7 goals, while also providing 17 assists. He came through the ranks of the Manchester United youth team, before switching up to Burnley, and since then he has done quite a lot for the clarets.

Making his way in the playing XI, becoming one of the highly-rated players under Sean Dyche, and most importantly winning the hearts of a thousands of the Burnley faithful. Now, if we put the whole situation in the mix up- clearly, for the Hammers it is about getting a sustained solidity in their squad, while the Eagles are looking to compensate for the loss of Conor Gallagher. Adding to it, the stats and the eye tests in abundance, prove that the 22-year-old can provide both of these abilities.

He can play as a winger, but also in a more advanced role in the attack if required. McNeil is quick, on and off the ball as well, and his passing range is also really good- as has been witnessed during his time in the Burnley squad. So, overall, this could be a cut deal for either West Ham or Palace- that could be decided by whosoever can meet that asking sum, by the Clarets, first!

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