Ex-Celtic winger Gary Mackay-Steven is set to rejoin the Scottish top-flight, with Aberdeen interested (Daily Record).
Mackay-Steven, who spent two years at Celtic, had been playing for Ronny Deila’s MLS side New York City FC. Deila’s side finished 5th in the Eastern Conference last season, qualifying for the play-offs. Their record was good enough for 7th in the MLS (Fox).
However, the Daily Record’s Scott Burns has reported that the Thurso-born winger’s contract will not be renewed.
Although seen as a slightly disappointing signing for Celtic, his numbers in the green and white were actually very impressive. In 63 games for the Bhoys, Mackay-Steven scored 10 and assisted 11. In the MLS, for NYCFC, he scored 3 and laid on 2 in 39 games (Transfermarkt).
Aberdeen were Mackay-Steven’s last Premiership team and a return to the North-East appears likely.
Aberdeen most likely suitors for ex-Celtic man
Derek McInnes has already made his intentions clear regarding Mackay-Steven, who once had to be pulled from the River Kelvin after a night out (BBC).
In quotes attributed to the Daily Record, McInnes said:
“We’ve got one or two positions prioritised and players within that. But I think we would always be open to bringing good players to the club.
“Gary’s exactly that. We didn’t want to lose Gary in the first place.
“His numbers were good with us. There are other positions that we maybe need to try and focus on more to be honest.”
Mackay-Steven moved to New York City at an unfortunate time. Normally a bustling city filled with exciting culture, the COVID pandemic instead left him feeling like “I’m an extra in I Am Legend” (Herald).
The winger was part of historic Celtic sides, and according to the same Herald interview from May of this year, Mackay-Steven holds the Bhoys close to his heart:
“I always look out for Celtic’s results and it’s not until you’ve been a part of the club that you realise how amazing Celtic is, the support, club, players. There was a lot of highs, some lows. It was a crazy ride and I enjoyed every minute. It’s great to see them continuing their success and continue to do well.”
Sure, Aberdeen seem the most likely option for the 30-year-old former Dundee United man. Still, with Celtic lacking depth on the wings, there’s a possibility Neil Lennon might opt for GMS on a 6 month deal.