Why Bristol City should their reignite interest in Scott McKenna 

According to a recent report from the Bristol Live, Bristol City were among a host of clubs linked with a move for Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna this past summer. 

The Robins had earmarked him as a replacement for Adam Webster, who departed Ashton Gate to complete a big-money move to the Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion. (h/t Bristol Live)

Bristol City had been joined by Championship rivals Nottingham Forest and Hull City in their pursuit of the highly-rated centre-back while Celtic and Aston Villa had been touted as the other potential suitors for the Scotsman. (h/t Bristol Live)

However, despite widespread interest from several English clubs, a move south of the border failed to materialize for McKenna, who eventually withdrew his transfer request at the Pittodrie Stadium after Aberdeen rejected all bids and refused to sanction a departure. (h/t Bristol Live)

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Scott McKenna had been linked with a move to Bristol City this past summer (Getty Images)

The Robins, on the other hand, completed a permanent deal for Tomas Kalas on the back of his successful loan spell from Chelsea last season in a bid to shore up their backline  

Meanwhile, McKenna has continued to impress with his commandings displays at the back in his homeland this season, clocking up 20 appearances in all competitions for Derek McInnes’s side and enhancing his reputation as one of the best defenders in the Scottish Premiership.

Now, as per the report, McKenna hasn’t ruled out a move to English football when the transfer window reopens in January and that is expected to put some of the potential suitors on red alert. The 22-year-old still has plenty of years left to run on his current deal at Aberdeen which runs until 2023 but it is well-known that no player is out of the market. 

With that in mind, Bristol City should not hesitate to go back in the market for the towering Scottish international during the mid-season trading period in January. Lee Johnson’s side are currently flying high in the Championship and are right up there with the promotion contenders following an excellent start to the campaign. 

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McKenna is widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the Scottish game (Getty Images)

Currently placed 4th in the standings following a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Millwall in the midweek fixture, the Robins will be expected to step up their pursuit of promotion in the second half of the season and the arrival of some fresh faces in January could definitely hand a massive boost to their chances.

While a new striker to replace injured Stoke City loanee Benik Afobe must be a priority, Johnson should have an eye on the team’s defensive record of 30 goals conceded in 21 games, which is currently the worst tally in the top-six in the Championship. 

Indeed, that has got a lot to do with the kind of attacking football Bristol City have played this season, but Johnson can certainly do a with a bit of reshuffling at the back in the coming months. 

Verdict

Veteran Ashley Williams has established himself as one of the mainstays alongside the likes of Taylor Moore and Nathan Baker, while Kalas has only featured sporadically due to his ongoing struggles with injuries.

However, with Williams and Bailey Wright both out of contract in the summer of 2020, the Robins need to bring in a solid centre-back moving forward and McKenna, who still has plenty of room for development at the age of 23, certainly looks like an excellent option for Johnson.

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The 23-year-old hasn’t ruled out a move south of the border in January (Getty Images)

That the 14-cap Scottish star has caught the eye for a club outside the Old Firm giants north of the border speaks volumes of his talent and potential and interest in his services is likely to be high once again when the transfer window reopens in January. 

The Robins might face some significant competition in their efforts to bring him to the club during the mid-season window but McKenna could be well worth the outlay, given that he still has his best years ahead of him. Plus, of course, he has the physicality and the all-round game to make the step up to a more competitive league.

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To that end, it is a no-brainer that someone like Scott McKenna ticks all the boxes to come through the door at Ashton Gate as a wonderful long-term prospect and Bristol City making a renewed attempt to sign him in January could pay off handsomely for their promotion hopes.