Frank Lampard has called Dwight McNeil a ‘huge talent’ after the winger completed his move from Burnley to Everton for a fee that could be as high as £20m.
The 22-year-old has signed a five-year deal and will be the club’s third summer signing after his former Burnley teammate James Tarkowski and Sporting’s loan defender Ruben Vinagre.
Rafael Benítez, the former Everton manager, was eager to sign the former England under-21 international last summer, and Lampard needs new additions to his strike line following the sale of Richarlison to Tottenham.
“I was a big fan of Dwight for a while,” the Everton manager said. “He’s got a huge talent and he’s the kind of player we want to bring on the team to help us get better.”
Rochdale native McNeil made 146 appearances for Burnley, graduating from their academy. He failed to score and provided only one assist as Burnley were relegated from the Premier League last season but believes Lampard’s approach will improve his results.
“Talking to the manager about what they want for the future was very exciting and engaging for me,” he said. “I feel like playing under a manager like Frank Lampard will help me improve my statistics and that’s what I want to do and improve my game.”
Everton director of football Kevin Thelwell said: “Despite being only 22 years old, he has a lot of experience in the Premier League and the statistics prove we have attracted one of the best young talents in English football. We are confident that by working with Frank and his coaching staff, Dwight will be able to become even better and live a long and successful career at Everton.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace have signed a five-year contract with Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards. The 22-year-old American centre-back joined Bayern Munich from Dallas in 2018 and has been on loan at Hoffenheim since February 2021.
“I grew up watching the Premier League and of course I grew up watching [Wilfried] Zaha, so it will be great to spend time with them on the field [the players] and be part of this historic club,” Richards told the Palace website.