"It's not just about ability"; former Celtic defender Alan Stubbs reckon club should keep Jonjoe Kenny

By Euan Davidson

March 11, 2021

Former Celtic defender Alan Stubbs reckons the club should attempt to buy Jonjoe Kenny outright.

Kenny, on loan from Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton, has been a bright spark since his winter arrival. The 23-year-old replaced the outgoing Jeremie Frimpong, and has been a solid contributor at Premiership level.

A report in the Liverpool Echo suggested that Kenny would leave Everton in the summer. However, it’s likely the Merseysiders will be looking for as much as £10m for the former England youth international, surely pricing Celtic out of a permanent move.

Stubbs told the Daily Record:

“If you are asking me the question about whether Celtic should try to keep him, I’d say it’s a no-brainer – 100 per cent.

“It all depends on what various parties want to do. What Jonjoe wants to do, what Everton want to do. Just as importantly, what Celtic’s next manager wants to do.

“But there are a lot worse options out there than Jonjoe, that’s for sure. And it’s not just about ability with him.

“It’s what he brings to the party in terms of everything else. There was never any doubt about Jonjoe being a good player but I can’t speak highly enough about him.

“Just as important as talent, Jonjoe is just a really good guy.”

Celtic right-back Jonjoe Kenny / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Could Celtic hold on to Jonjoe Kenny?

With Everton reportedly lining up moves for Max Aarons or Tariq Lamptey, it seems Kenny’s Toffees future is in jeopardy. He is, however, a Premier League-calibre player, and may see his future being in England.

The former Schalke 04 loanee is undoubtedly a decent player. However, Celtic rarely spend more than £5m on a player. Double that for a full-back who has been good, if not spectacular, seems incredibly unlikely.

An energetic full-back who enjoys getting into attacking positions, Kenny has a decent range of passing, and can threaten with low, drilled crosses. According to WhoScored?, Kenny averages 1.5 key passes per 90, which is impressive for a full-back. From a defensive point of view, he averages 1.5 tackles and interceptions per match, too; again, solid if unspectacular.

Stubbs describes it as a no-brainer. But if there are cheaper, even younger alternatives, than a permanent move for Kenny seems off the cards.

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