"Unbelievable again"; Celtic-linked Mark McKenzie heralded by Philadelphia boss Jim Curtin
Mark McKenzie was at it again last night as he received a superb appraisal from Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin.
McKenzie played the full 90 minutes once again in the Union’s 2-1 win over Thierry Henry’s Montreal Impact yesterday. He’s now played 12 full matches out of Philly’s 13 this season (Transfermarkt).
WhoScored marked him as clocking an impressive three interceptions, three clearances, and two successful challenges. He also managed to give away zero fouls – something that’s becoming a trademark for him.
Sky Sports reported over the summer that Celtic were monitoring develops regarding him closely. And it appears his levels haven’t dropped despite failing to bag a move before the international window closed last week.
As quoted by Philadelphia Union’s most popular news site – Brotherly Game – Curtin was evidently delighted with what he got from McKenzie in last night’s win.
Curtin on Mark McKenzie:
“Mark was unbelievable again. He doesn’t seem to get beat. He’s fast when he needs to be, his passing, his stepping into midfield, winning balls, also connecting his passes, playing through the lines, he’s playing at a level not many CBs can play at.”
— Brotherly Game (@BrotherlyGame) October 12, 2020
A January move would be ideal given how events are unfolding
Many would’ve agreed that Celtic were well covered at the back when the window closed last week. With six potential centre-back options currently at Parkhead, there was no massive need for the club to secure McKenzie.
However, Nir Bitton has since tested positive for Covid whilst there are fears Hatem Elhamed could have it too (Scottish Sun). All of a sudden, Celtic may only have four options for their defensive three, with the inexperienced Stephen Welsh one of them.
Suddenly, it looks as though we really could’ve done with signing the Philly centre-back as week ago. The fact his manager believes that “not many CBs can play at” the level he’s operating at is extremely promising. That shows how highly he’s valued and in a higher quality league than some give it credit for.
Sky Sports reporter Anthony Joseph stated after the window closed that Celtic are still extremely interested in the centre-back. He also stated that the Hoops will continue to monitor his situation too.
McKenzie’s levels just aren’t dropping either, and with the January transfer window less than three months away, this is one that could come back into the club’s focus sooner than you might think.
With Philadelphia sitting second in the Eastern Conference and just three points behind Toronto – it’s clear their solidity at the back is breeding a winning mentality.