"Lack of proactiveness"; Celtic fans not pleased as Mark McKenzie set to head elsewhere
In one of the more disappointing stories this week, it looks as though Mark McKenzie won’t be signing for Celtic.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has today reported that the USA international is likely off to Belgian side Genk. They state that he will be sold for more than the $4million Celtic offered Philadelphia Union in October.
Belgian media outlet Het Belang van Limburg have also reported the news. The deal has yet to be finalised, but it looks all but over from Celtic’s perspective.
The Hoops were originally linked with McKenzie in the summer. The Union’s Sporting Director Ernst Tanner had confirmed that they had held talks with the Bhoys (Scottish Sun). In the end, however, Celtic moved for Shane Duffy on loan from Brighton instead.
It looked as though a move for him this January could’ve been reignited. Especially after McKenzie himself talked up a potential move to Glasgow just a couple of weeks ago (Sky Sports).
Mark McKenzie looked a real asset for Celtic
Celtic currently have six potential centre-back options already in the first-team squad. As well as Duffy, Neil Lennon can turn to Christopher Jullien, Kristoffer Ajer, Nir Bitton, Hatem Elhamed, and Stephen Welsh respectively.
So it does seem a touch bizarre to be itching for a new centre-back. But this just looked a great opportunity for Celtic to forward plan.
Elhamed reportedly wants away (Scottish Sun), whilst Ajer’s contract is up in the summer of 2022. The best chance of selling the Norwegian for a tidy profit will come in the summer. That’s not to mention the fact that Duffy is scheduled to head back to Brighton. As things stand, we won’t be rushing to secure him permanently.
So signing McKenzie could’ve been a good move with a view to the summer. It would mean any potential Ajer replacement wouldn’t need time to settle in.
Then again, that would be thinking proactively. We’re used to disappointment when it comes to Celtic and the transfer window. This deal is one it looks like we’ve missed out on badly.
And that’s been reflected in the supporters’ reaction to it also. Indeed, the Celtic fans believe the club has indeed missed a trick here. Here’s a look at what they’ve been saying on social media:
Not surprised we’ve missed out on McKenzie, he looks like a bright young player with qualities that would suit the way we play and who would be a smart acquisition so it seems too straight forward for Celtic to make that signing.
— Reece (@_RH67) December 29, 2020
Mark McKenzie reportedly agreeing a move to Belgian side Genk. Feels like a real missed opportunity that
— Lewis 🍋 (@LewisLaird01) December 29, 2020
Just when I thought 2021 couldn’t be worse than 2020…. https://t.co/HZFgrC5I6G
— Lennon🇮🇹 (@_Lennon1967) December 29, 2020
Can guarantee without watching a single minute of Mckenzie that he wouldn't have been as bad as Duffy has been https://t.co/N63x7p2Ob0
— Paddy🏴 (@Paddy7_) December 29, 2020
Looks like we're doing it cheap and refusing to pay a fairly average fee for a talent who looks like they could go places again.
John McGinn ringing a bell. https://t.co/fknKtgHb7L
— Tam McKinlay (@tammckinlay9) December 29, 2020
Celtic falling asleep for a deal for a good young talent like Mark McKenzie. pic.twitter.com/akp5NM4Uf4
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— Jack (@JShaw1888) December 29, 2020
@markmckenzie4_ would have been great for @CelticFC and would have developed brilliantly in the Scottish PL 👍🏻 Lets hope Celtic haven't messed up another Transfer! Could have bought him for half that price in the summer!! #CelticFC
— @CiaránShev (@CiaranShevlin) December 29, 2020