The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

McInnes will fend off McKenna suit­ors

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Aberdeen man­ager Derek McInnes ad­mits he ex­pects to have to fend off fresh of­fers for de­fender Scott McKenna this sum­mer.

The 21-year-old this week capped an im­pres­sive breakthrou­gh sea­son with a PFA Scot­land young player-of-the-year award nom­i­na­tion.

But McInnes knows that will only alert fresh suit­ors to the new Scot­land cap’s bur­geon­ing po­ten­tial, hav­ing knocked back bids from Hull in Jan­uary.

How­ever, with McKenna tied down on a new deal un­til 2023, McInnes is con­fi­dent he will be able to per­suade the cen­tre-back to con­tinue his foot­balling ed­u­ca­tion with the Reds.

He said: “Next sea­son peo­ple will be look­ing at him a bit closer be­cause the spot­light has been on him, so it is up to Scott to repli­cate his form and that is the chal­lenge for him and for any young player.

“There will be chal­lenges ahead. We will get of­fers, as we have done in the past, but we can de­cide with Scott what is best for him.

“Thank­fully, Scott has re-signed and he has the ma­tu­rity and pa­tience to re­main here. He also has the in­tel­li­gence to know that he is far from the fin­ished ar­ti­cle.

“He will gain ex­pe­ri­ences good and bad. We will make him a more rounded player and we will make him more ready for what he will face in the fu­ture.

“Scott can also get a lot of that ex­pe­ri­ence through in­ter­na­tional foot­ball now that Alex McLeish has made him a firm part of the Scot­land set-up. But he can also get highly com­pet­i­tive games here and hope­fully Euro­pean foot­ball.

“He will play a key part in key games, es­pe­cially the ones com­ing up.”

 ??  ?? Scott McKenna: At­tract­ing at­ten­tion af­ter breakthrou­gh sea­son
Scott McKenna: At­tract­ing at­ten­tion af­ter breakthrou­gh sea­son

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