"Lack of proactiveness"; Celtic fans not pleased as Mark McKenzie set to head elsewhere

By David Walton

December 29, 2020

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).

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

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.

Celtic look to have missed out on Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie / (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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:

https://twitter.com/TheRyanMcGinlay/status/1343965073736400904

In other news, Lennon has made an exciting two-striker admission days ahead of our trip to Ibrox.


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