Celtic had a long standing interest in Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna until last season. It predates the current manager and the club failed several times to take him from Pittodrie.
Now McKenna is on the verge of a move to Nottingham Forest, former Celtic player Charlie Nicholas can’t believe his old club haven’t gone back for the defender.
Nicholas believes McKenna is round about the same level as Shane Duffy, only younger and that the club would’ve been able to double or triple their money on Scott after a few seasons.
The pundit revealed Celtic will need another centre-back in if Ajer goes before the window closes. That’s where he veers off, in my opinion. McKenna and Ajer are not similar style players and if you replaced the Aberdeen defender with the Norwegian, you would notice the stark difference almost immediately. We would need a ball playing defender to replace Kris who currently takes the ball out of defence and can stride forward to suck in players.
Writing for the daily express as cited by SunSport, Nicholas was adamant the club should be moving for Scott:
“Celtic should have come back in for Scott McKenna.
“Had they done so, they could easily have doubled or even trebled their money on him in a few years.
“The defender is on his way to Nottingham Forest in a deal that will net Aberdeen £3million and could rise to £4m or £5m with add-ons.
“At that sort of price range, Celtic should have moved for the Scotland international.
“They brought in another physical defender in Shane Duffy earlier this month, but they have only got him on loan for one season from Brighton and I don’t think he’s significantly better than McKenna.
“McKenna still has a fair bit to go before we can say he’s good enough to compete with the best in Europe, but Celtic could have improved him.
“McKenna has a decent left foot which gives teams balance at centre-half. His physicality is strong and he can compete like Duffy.
“I don’t understand why Celtic didn’t consider trying to do a deal for the 23-year-old.
“If they were keen on him two years ago when Aston Villa had a £7m bid rejected then why not now when he can be bought for only £3m?
“They would have been able to develop McKenna and he could have enhanced his CV with trophies and cemented his place in the Scotland national team.
“By the time he turned 27 or 28 his value would have doubled, if not trebled.
“If Kris Ajer leaves before the transfer window closes, Celtic will need to bring in another central defender.”
Celtic have two weeks of the window left, where they are looking to bring in a left sided player and hopefully keep the rest of their current talent.