Who is Luke McNally? Spotlight on Burnley defender Sheffield Wednesday are trying to sign

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Sheffield Wednesday have launched an enquiry as to the potential loan signing of Burnley defender Luke McNally, The Star has revealed.

The Owls are on the lookout for defensive reinforcements after a steady drop-out of numbers at the back in recent weeks.

But who is McNally and how would he fit in? Let’s take a look.

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Luke McNally? I remember that name..

Burnley's Luke McNally is a transfer target for Sheffield Wednesday. Pic: CameraSport - Alex DoddBurnley's Luke McNally is a transfer target for Sheffield Wednesday. Pic: CameraSport - Alex Dodd
Burnley's Luke McNally is a transfer target for Sheffield Wednesday. Pic: CameraSport - Alex Dodd

McNally impressed in the second half of Oxford United’s 3-2 home win over Wednesday last season and was often spoken-up as one of the most promising centre-halves in League One.

A powerful six-foot-four 23-year-old, the Republic of Ireland-born prospect signed for Burnley in the summer for an undisclosed fee having made only 30 appearances in English football – and only four further appearances have followed.

What McNally lacks in experience he makes up for in talent, however.

How would he fit in?

Frankly, fairly easily.

Mark McGuinness’ return to Cardiff City leaves a tall, ball-playing hole in Wednesday’s squad you’d think McNally was custom-made for – with his experience of playing League One football a tick in the box of what Wednesday have looked for in incoming signings.

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Michael Ihiekwe isn’t due back for a few weeks and Ben Heneghan could miss the rest of the campaign and despite Dominic Iorfa’s stellar performances since his return to the side, the Owls look light on aerially-dominant defenders.

What’s this about a Liverpool legend?

Oxford boss Karl Robinson brought McNally across from the Irish leagues and speaking as a lifelong Liverpool fan could hardly have given the youngster a better compliment when describing his attributes.

He said last season: “I grew up with my dad telling me how big and how strong Ron Yeats was, and I grew up thinking how big and how much of a physical presence centre-halves should have.

“And Luke’s got that physical presence.

“Luke has been a credit to himself and his family. It’s not always easy to make the adjustment from part time football to playing and training every day but he made that step up very quickly and I think the fans could all see the potential he has.”

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What’s big Vinny think of him?

If a comparison to Yeats isn’t bad, there’s the opportunity to work day-in, day-out with Burnley manager and Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany, of course.

“Luke is a young player, he’s good on the ball, wins his challenges, and knows how to defend. We are delighted he is now a part of our squad,” the Belgian said after his summer transfer was confirmed.

“He has shown all the qualities we were looking for in a central defender.”

After McNally impressed in an FA Cup win over Bournemouth earlier this month, Kompany said: “He's a promising centre half. What a benchmark for him, if you can do it against Premier League opposition, it gives you something to work towards and try and achieve.

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“Then the rest is like everybody else; he is a work in progress. There are so many things I can tell you he does well in and there are others things we still need to improve with him.”