Celtic emerge as contenders to sign charismatic leader

Mark McKenzie

Celtic's pursuit of ten titles in a row next season could largely depend on their summer transfer window. 

If everything goes against them, the Hoops could lose Kristoffer Ajer and also fail to bring Fraser Forster back.

The Danish defender has been linked with AC Milan and Leicester while Celtic's hopes of bringing Forster in on loan again is up in the air after Southampton revealed they wanted to keep him.

Fortunately, the Hoops have replacements and alternatives lined up.

Joe Hart and Marcus Bettinelli have been touted in the goalkeeping position, as too has former Hoop David Marshall.

Defensively, Nick Hammond is in pursuit of Scott McKenna, a player who Celtic have had two bids rejected for the player in the last 24 months or so. 

However, a new target has now emerged for the Glaswegians.


According to the Daily Record, Celtic are contenders to sign one of America's young starlets.

Capped one time by the USMNT, 21-year-old Mark McKenzie could sign for the club for what's thought to be a bargain price.

The youngster has just 18 months remaining on his deal with MLS side Philadelphia Union and may walk through the door for just £1m. 

The Bhoys are closely monitoring the player with a view to landing the centre-back following Jozo Simunovic's departure from Parkhead.

Standing at 6 foot, he isn't the tallest of defenders but he's still a presence at the back.


GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

McKenzie is rather unknown to an English audience but he is one of the most promising players coming out of the USA at the moment.

The fact he's already been capped by the national team says a lot.

However, the way he's captained his country's U20 team is one of the most eye-catching parts of his career to date.

The player's former coach Tab Ramos was full of adulation for the player in May 2019, saying:

"Mark is a natural leader. First of all, he’s a hard player on the field and he’s a good player. Secondly, he has that charisma off the field that allows for him to have a voice and for people to follow that voice." 


Fine words indeed for such a young player. McKenzie feels like a player who has a mature head on his shoulders, one way above his age.

During the 2020 season, he has also shown his influence on the pitch, winning a colossal 4.5 aerial duels per game. He is also assured with the ball at his feet, completing 80% of his passes.

He would be a very solid acquisition for Celtic.

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