This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland man Dan Neil is on the radar of Burnley, with the Premier League side reportedly offering a £3m package for the 20-year-old’s service.
The midfielder has scored twice and registered seven assists in League One this season for Sunderland, with the Sun reporting how Burnley are preparing to offer £3m for Neil.
They could also plan to tempt Sunderland into a sale with the offer of a loan agreement until the end of the season.
Here, the FLW team discuss how much Neil is worth to Sunderland:
It’s a tough one to assess because he’s playing in League One, but I firmly believe that Neil is worth a lot more than £3m.
It’s not just about how much he’s worth as a talent, it’s also how much he’s worth to Sunderland as a club.
Thanks to Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ takeover earlier in 2021, Sunderland will be under no pressure to sell their top assets so they can value Neil at higher than people may think.
Looking at Neil’s stats though – two goals and seven assists so far in his first full season in senior football is fantastic and he’s had some special individual moments as well.
Would it be silly for Sunderland to ask for circa £10m? I really don’t think so – they don’t need to sell so I think they should hold out for big money.
It’s a tough one but Sunderland have to be holding out for at least £6m this month.
On one hand, that’s still not a massive sum for someone with the potential of Neil but the reality is that whilst the club remain in League One they won’t be able to command huge fees for their players. Either way though, he’s certainly worth more than what Burnley are currently offering when you consider the Wearside outfit need Neil to help them win promotion.
With the new owner in place, you’d hope that Sunderland are in a position where they don’t need to sell and with the player having recently signed a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2025, the Black Cats hold all the cards here and are not under pressure to sell.
Of course, Neil is going to want to play at the highest level possible in his career but you would hope that he will give Sunderland the season at least but failure to win promotion could mean the club have a big decision to make in the summer.
Quiz: Did these 15 former Sunderland players leave for a higher or lower fee than they arrived for?
In the past, £3m would have felt like good business for a League One player, but that’s not the case anymore.
Sunderland are a huge club and aren’t going to be bullied into a cheap sale.
The fact that Burnley are offering the incentive of a buy-to-loan option tells you they think he’s worth more than what’s on offer. That sweetener gives that away, so straight away you’d be rebuffing £3m.
For me, I’d be looking at somewhere between £6-8m this winter if the Black Cats were going to trigger a sale. Even then, I’ve got to ask, would it not be worth more to Sunderland winning promotion this season?
Sunderland can’t afford to go without someone of Neil’s quality for the rest of the season, so it’s going to have to be a handsome package, including that loan deal.
The market has changed so much, leaving Sunderland in an excellent position really.