The Clarets had slumped to a 5-1 Boxing Day defeat to Everton and many punters were tipping them for the drop. McNeil was one of the men that Sean Dyche brought in to turn around the sinking ship; he took his chance wonderfully.
McNeil quickly became the best winger at the football club because of his ability to play without fear. He would back himself in one-versus-one situations, whoever the full-back was. Trent Alexander-Arnold, regarded by some people as the best right-back in world football, had a difficult encounter against McNeil at Anfield.
Unfortunately, McNeil seems to be suffering from a lack of rest. The 21-year-old has started all but one Premier League match since making his first start for the club in December 2018. Playing all of those matches at such a young age has undoubtedly fast-tracked his progress on the football field. But, right now, it feels like McNeil is stagnating a little.
His willingness to carry the ball forward has waned. The technical qualities are no longer as consistent as they once were. In the current season, McNeil has no goals and just one assist in eleven Premier League matches; his last goal was in February.
McNeil has been carrying a big burden on his shoulders. Ideally, the club would have signed a winger of quality to play on the right, lessening the load on the youngster.
Instead, McNeil is seen as the only winger who is capable of playing on a weekly basis, given the injury struggles of Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady.
The Clarets face Arsenal at the weekend and, despite the form of the Gunners, it is not a game that many will expect Burnley to win. It would be great to see a second start for the impressive Josh Benson, on the right of midfield, with Brady moving over to the left, perhaps.
Resting McNeil could be wishful thinking, however, given that he regularly completes 90 minutes. He also started the nightmarish match at the Etihad, a game where Dyche decided to rest both Brady and Gudmundsson, in order to conserve their energy. But Burnley risk running McNeil into the ground.
The player and the football club could benefit immensely from giving him a break every now and again. He is only human.