Celtic-linked Mark McKenzie earns glowing review from Philadelphia manager

By David Walton

September 23, 2020

Celtic-linked Mark McKenzie has been labeled the “modern-day centre-back” by his Philadelphia Union boss Jim Curtin.

Sky Sports reported earlier this month that the Hoops were keeping tabs on McKenzie and that they had asked to be kept informed of any developments.

The centre-back has had a sensational start to the MLS campaign so far, playing all 90 minutes in 14 of Philadelphia’s 15 fixtures. In those games, McKenzie has only conceded more than one goal on three occasions (Transfermarkt).

Mark McKenzie in action (Photo by Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images)

He was scintillating in the Union’s 4-1 mauling against Thierry Henry’s Montreal Impact on Monday, and that’s led to a shining review of his capabilities from manager Curtin.

Celtic 2-1 Aberdeen | LIVE Reaction

As quoted by Delaware Online, Curtin said: “You talk about the modern center back, it’s Mark McKenzie.

“He’s as fast as anyone on the field. He can win anything in the air defensively. One-v-one defending he’s excellent. And most importantly, with the ball, he can play with both feet.

“His growth and development have been awesome and to watch and be part of.”

McKenzie’s reputation growing in the USA

It’s not just his manager who appears to be enjoying what he’s producing either. McKenzie has been earning rave reviews from those who watch him on a regular basis outwith the club.

He caught the eye in particular with his superb defence-splitting ball against Montreal in his last match. Have a look at the video below as well as some of the impressed reviews from his spectators:

https://twitter.com/Milan4eva1026/status/1307840326468612102

The only way appears to be up for this highly-rated American hot-shot, but you do wonder whether Celtic will bother progressing their interest given recent developments.

With Kristoffer Ajer looking like staying at Celtic as AC Milan reportedly turn their attentions to Matija Nastasic (Sky Sport Italia), the club is unlikely to sanction a deal for a seventh centre-back. Considering we have six options at the moment who can play in the position, it would be unlike Celtic to flood their numbers.

There’s still time for a defender to leave the club before the window is shut, but we don’t want to be panicking into any last-minute moves for the USA international. Any negotiations should be approached from a position of strength.

In any case, McKenzie’s reputation continues to build. All we can do is speculate whether Celtic will look to bring that potential to Parkhead.

In other news, one of our Europa League rivals has been sharing his Celtic knowledge as he reflected on his youth days in Glasgow.