Burnley's best bit of business in January was surely to tie Dwight McNeil down to a long-term contract.

The Clarets added just Peter Crouch to their squad in the winter window, with Sam Vokes departing Turf Moor.

There was some apathy among supporters at the lack of new arrivals with the Clarets, at the time, very much in a relegation battle.

But fast forward three months and Burnley are on the brink of Premier League survival and the decision to tie down McNeil to a long-term contract is looking shrewder by the day.

The wideman signed on until 2022 with the option of a further year and continues to impress.

It is difficult to have believe any potential new signing could have made more of an impact than the 19-year-old has.

We have now moved past potential and pride to acknowledging that the teenager is becoming the real deal.

 

He has three goals and five assists to his name since breaking into the side late last year and he has taken to Premier League football like a duck to water.

His direct running and appetite to beat a man is something the Clarets had lacked early in the campaign, while his mere presence at times lifts the Turf crowd who are delighted to see a player come through the Academy ranks to cement a first team place for the first time since Jay Rodriguez.

But we are watching more than just homegrown promise.

His form earned him an England Under-20 debut earlier this year while the teenager also trained with Gareth Southgate's senior squad.

His strike against Wolves looks nailed on to win the club's goal of the season award and, such as been his impact, that he could even be in the running for player of the year despite only making his first start in December.

While it is important not to put too much pressure on a player who is still learning his craft, it is difficult not to get carried away.

But in Sean Dyche, McNei has a manager who is adept at helping players grow.

"He’s a real talent. I’ve said it for weeks now, and a long time ago when he first came into the side," said Dyche of his prospect after the win over Cardiff.

Dwight McNeil celebrates after scoring Burnley's second goal against Wolves

“He’s a really good player, he’s improving, his calmness at the end (against Cardiff) - I’m saying get it in the corner - but he cuts in, and his calmness to cross it into a dangerous area where he gets his reward.

“He’s a really good player, really good, and he can only mature.

“He’s certainly showing good signs of that and we’re really pleased for him, for the work he puts in, and it’s not been easy.

"It’s not been an easy turnaround to get to where we’ve got to but he’s played a big part in that."

Burnley fans will be hoping he's playing a part for years to come.