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England Promotion For McNeil

Clarets winger included in Under-21 squad for first time

30 August 2019

Dwight McNeil has earned his first call-up to the England Under-21 squad.

The Clarets’ winger has previously been capped at Under-20 level after breaking into the senior set-up at Turf Moor.

And 12 months to the day since his full Burnley debut – against Olympiakos in the Europa League – the 19-year-old has been elevated to the Under-21 squad for their opening European Championship qualifiers.

“I think he’s earned the right,” said Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

“Not only because he’s playing first-team football in the Premier League, which is difficult, but also by the level of his performances and the fact he keeps working hard.

McNeil Rose England.jpg

Dwight McNeil trained with the senior England squad in March

“When he’s been away with England the feedback has been the same.

“He has been a pleasure to be around, he conducts himself well and he works hard – all the things we think are very important for the players here and for the club and the team.

“If he shows that and goes and enjoys his football, then fantastic for him and fantastic for us.”

After a full debut in Europe, McNeil was handed his first Premier League start against West Ham at Turf Moor at the turn of the year.

Dwight McNeil shot.jpg

The Academy graduate then started every game bar one and played a key role in the Clarets’ surge to safety last season.

And he has started the current campaign as an ever-present to gain his move up the international ranks as part of Aidy Boothroyd's 23-man squad.

McNeil will report to St George’s Park next Monday for fixtures away to Turkey on Friday, 6 September and at home to Kosovo on Monday, 9 September at Hull City’s KCOM Stadium as England begin their Group Three qualifying programme.

If he features, McNeil will become the first Burnley player to be capped at England Under-21 level since Danny Ings, who played 13 times for the U21s and scored twice for the Young Lions in a 3-1 win over Portugal at Turf Moor in November, 2014.

England U21 squad:

Goalkeepers: Ellery Balcombe (Brentford), Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Bournemouth), Nathan Trott (AFC Wimbledon, loan from West Ham United)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich City), Trevoh Chalobah (Huddersfield Town, loan from Chelsea), Ben Godfrey (Norwich City), Marc Guehi (Chelsea), James Justin (Leicester City), Jonathan Panzo (AS Monaco), Steven Sessegnon (Fulham), Ben Wilmot (Swansea City, loan from Watford)

Midfielders: Todd Cantwell (Norwich City), Tom Davies (Everton), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Omar Richards (Reading), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur), Joe Willock (Arsenal)

Forwards: Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Reiss Nelson (Arsenal), Eddie Nketiah (Leeds United, loan from Arsenal)

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