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Celtic eye a move for 21-year-old MLS starlet – Has Lennon found the right talent?

Mark McKenzie led the USA in the U20 World Cup in 2020 (Getty Images)
Mark McKenzie led the USA in the U20 World Cup in 2020 (Getty Images)

Why Mark McKenzie would be a future investment for Celtic

According to Daily Record, Celtic are eyeing a move for Philadelphia Union youngster Mark McKenzie in the summer to bolster their defensive unit.

McKenzie, 21, rose through the ranks of Philadelphia Union’s youth system and has made 36 appearances for the MLS outfit to date. He has also played at various age-group levels for the USA from U15 to U23. The youngster also led his country in the 2020 U20 World Cup.

Mark McKenzie led the USA in the U20 World Cup in 2020 (Image credit: Google)
Mark McKenzie led the USA in the U20 World Cup in 2020 (Image credit: Google)

His impressive performances also earned him a call-up to the national team as he made his debut for the USA last February. He is one of the rising stars in the country and thus, Celtic should secure the services of McKenzie ahead of next season.

McKenzie could be a good addition for Celtic

The Hoops lifted the Premiership title for the 9th time in a row this season. They have dominated the Scottish league over the past decade and one of the reasons for their excellent performance is the stability in their backline.

This term, they had conceded just 19 goals in 30 league games and boast of the best defensive record in Scotland. Christopher Jullien and Kristoff Ajer have formed a strong partnership and have cemented their place in Neil Lennon’s starting XI. They have been brilliant throughout the campaign and have also managed to score 7 goals between themselves.

The other defenders are Jozo Simunovic and Hatem Abd Elhamed. Both of them have struggled with injuries throughout the campaign and have featured rarely. However, Elhamed has a few more years left on his contract with the club but Simunovic could leave the club once his contract expires next summer.

Mark McKenzie (R) in action for Philadelphia Union (Image credit: Google)
Mark McKenzie (R) in action for Philadelphia Union (Image credit: Google)

Moreover, Ajer has been strongly linked with a move away from Celtic Park and this could leave the Hoops with limited options at the back in their quest to the 10th title in a row. Thus, the manager should look to bring in reinforcements at the back and add depth to their defensive unit.

In that regard, signing McKenzie would help them secure their backline for the future. The USA international is just 21 and has a lot of room for development. He has already shown immense potential with Philadelphia Unions and under the guidance of Lennon, he could develop into a crucial player for Celtic in the future.

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Verdict

If Simunovic and Ajer leave, Celtic would fall short of numbers at the back. Thus, they should make a move for the USA international at the earliest and add him to the squad. He would definitely add depth to the squad and could be seen as a future prospect.

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