In a recent interview with The Athletic, boyhood Rangers fan Kenny McLean opened up on a ‘pretty special’ Ibrox return at some point of his career. The Norwich City midfielder is still recovering from the injury setback endured during the final gameweek of the 2020-21 season but, at the same time, is relishing the Canaries’ immediate Premier League promotion.
“Right now, I’m about to play in the Premier League again, so I’m not even thinking about it. But for me and my family, it would be pretty special. I grew up a Rangers fan, used to go to the games with my dad, and as a kid in Glasgow you support Rangers or Celtic, and you want to play for one of them. So, I was on the better side!”
It was a massive heartbreak for the 29-year-old Scotsman who netted the decisive spot-kick in both the playoff fixtures (against Israel and Serbia). His heroics earned Scotland a place in the semis, however, the jubilation was short-lived as the damaged knee ligament shattered his European dreams.
McLean had a brief stint with Rangers’ youth setup before leaving for St Mirren. There he enjoyed a successful spell and as a result, got roped in by Aberdeen for a fee of around £300,000 back in 2015. His midfield masterclass grabbed Norwich’s attention who secured his services three years later.
Although he struggled to settle in at Carrow Road due to form and fitness reasons, the tutelage of Daniel Farke helped him recover and cement a key status in the squad which secured a top-flight return. The Scot was handed 37 Premier League appearances back in 2019-20 and continued to retain his status in the middle of the park despite getting demoted a year ago.
He was sublime last season in his role with great passing and pressing attributes. His work rate has been immense, so are the final ball, concentration as well as aerial duels. Not only the midfielder has marshalled the defence but also acted as a ball carrier with layoffs, down the middle runs and link-up play.
Why Rangers Should Keep Close Tabs On McLean
The Gers, meanwhile, have tied down John Lundstram on a free transfer. The ex-Sheffield United star is expected to dominate the midfield game but from a slightly advanced slot with Ryan Jack and Steven Davis featuring as deep-lying playmakers. Davis, however, is in his mid-thirties, whereas the injury record of Jack is not convincing either. Scott Arfield, too, has passed his prime and the club, thus, must keep close tabs on McLean over a potential future move. He still has a couple of years left in his Norwich contract, but a cut-price deal could be struck next summer unless the player commits his long-term future in Norfolk.