Celtic linked Mark McKenzie is a ‘Rolls Royce’ of a centre-half who would go from strength to strength with a move to Britain, Ian Munro tells the Daily Record of the Philadelphia Union starlet.
While The Hoops might have cruised to a ninth successive Scottish Premiership title in 2019/20, Neil Lennon will know that Celtic cannot afford to rest on their laurels with bitter rivals Rangers breathing down their neck.
And defensive additions are a must if the Glasgow giants are to scribe their names into the history books and turn that fabled ‘ten in a row’ dream into a reality.
Jozo Simunovic and Jack Hendry have already left this summer while Kristoffer Ajer, despite distancing himself from the doomed-riddled declarations of a since-departed agent, might find a potential £20 million move to AC Milan just too good to turn down.
But with the Record suggesting that USA international McKenzie could be available for as little as £1 million, Celtic could snap up one of North America’s hottest prospects in a bargain deal.
“Mark is a talented kid. Coming through at the academy, you could see then that he had great pace and athleticism. Nobody could outrun him,” says former Rangers midfielder Munro, who knows McKenzie from his time in the MLS.
“He continues to improve all the time. He’s a smart boy and a fantastic athlete. He listens well and is very coachable.
“Mark can go on to play at a high level as well – he’s a Rolls-Royce of a player. Nothing phases Mark. He is good with the ball at his feet and he will play out of defence with confidence.
“He does the basics well and his consistency is excellent. He’s maturing as a player and I think he’d do well if he went to Scotland.”
Clearly, McKenzie is not lacking in the technical side of the game – and that bodes well for a potential future at the heart of Celtic’s backline.
Lennon might introduced a more direct approach compared to Brendan Rodgers’ ‘death by a thousand passes’ blueprint but centre-halves at Parkhead are still expected to start attacks from the back while also keeping opposition strikers off the scoresheet.