St. Mirren’s former head of academy David Longwell says Glasgow Rangers made a mistake in letting Kenny McLean go as a youngster.
Should have kept McLean
The Ibrox outfit have been linked with a move for the 28-year-old recently. However, he was already on the Gers’ books as a youth player – but he was let go in 2008 when he was just 16 years old.
He was then signed by St. Mirren, and went on to play for Aberdeen and Norwich City. Looking back, Longwell believes letting him go was an error of judgement from the 54-time Scottish champions. The coach told Lanarkshire Live Sport (via The Daily Record):
“Some players take a knock when they are released by the Old Firm and can fall out of the game.
“I think Kenny just got on with it and said it is what it is.
“We signed him when he was released by Rangers, and I guess if you look back now it’s been a mistake on their part, because he hadn’t developed physically yet.”
Easy to say in hindsight
£2.88m-valued McLean (Transfermarkt) has certainly established himself in the game since leaving Ibrox. He made 37 appearances for Norwich City in the Premier League last term, and he was recently one of the heroes for Scotland, scoring in the penalty shoot-outs against Israel and Serbia to earn the Tartan Army a place at Euro 2020.
Should Rangers have kept McLean?
It is easy in hindsight to say Rangers should have kept him. However, when he was allowed to leave, the Gers didn’t seem to miss him. They had just made the 2008 Europa League final, and would go on to win the Premiership in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Even if he had stayed at that point, he would have likely departed when the Gers were demoted to the fourth tier of Scottish football following huge financial irregularities.
Yes, McLean could have been a good player at Ibrox, but sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.
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