Why Scott McKenna would be a wonderful long-term investment for Celtic
McKenna, 21, played in both legs of Aberdeen’s Europa League tie with Burnley but suffered a hamstring injury in their opening Premiership game against Rangers, which will keep him out for six weeks.
The defender’s injury hasn’t stopped Celtic from making a move for the 21-year-old centre-back, with the Scottish Sun claiming the Hoops have made their first bid for McKenna in an attempt to test Aberdeen’s resolve with less than two weeks remaining before the deadline.
The 21-year-old signed a contract extension on improved terms in March this year, committing his future at the Pittodrie until 2023.
Celtic have been defensively dreadful so far this season and with Dedryck Boyata’s future uncertain, there can certainly be little question regarding what Brendan Rodgers’ priority needs to be in the final days of the summer transfer window, especially after the Glasgow giants’ astonishing exit from the Champions League.
Rodgers’ side were knocked out by AEK Athens after a 2-1 defeat in Greece saw them lose 3-2 on aggregate. Celtic’s defensive lapses last week were punished brutally by AEK Athens and the manner in which they conceded the goals highlighted that failure to sign a new centre-back before the transfer deadline would be a massive mistake from Rodgers.
Rodgers is currently relying on Jack Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer at the back, which is a huge risk given their inexperience, while Jozo Simunovic has endured a torrid time. Hendry, in particular, has been really poor this season and it screams for a calmer, more experienced player at the back.
Scott McKenna may not be a player with tons of experience but he has surely impressed at Aberdeen and his performances have not gone unnoticed. McKenna’s form saw him receive his first Scotland cap in March and following his debut, he has won four international caps and has captained Scotland in June.
McKenna is an absolute giant, standing at 6ft 2in and is capable of winning almost every aerial duel. He is big, strong, powerful and is a ball-playing defender with top potential who will be the ideal man to form a solid partnership at the back with either Hendry or Ajer.
It’s not just size and power that makes McKenna such a wonderful player though, as the Aberdeen man reads the game superbly and rarely gets flustered in pressure situations.
If Rodgers is planning to solve his team’s crisis that has ensued over the last couple of weeks, he has to start from the defence and by signing McKenna. At 21, with his best years yet to come, McKenna would be a fantastic long-term investment for the Parkhead outfit.