It was recently confirmed that Gary Mackay-Steven won’t be an Aberdeen player next season. MLS side New York City have confirmed his arrival. Now, he already made inroads into the Dons side last season, but Connor McLennan has to fully step up to the plate now.
The 19-year-old made 21 appearances in the Premiership last season for the Dons. He scored three times and notched an impressive seven assists from 18 starts in the league.
Often played in Mackay-Steven’s position of left wing, McLennan has to become an even bigger player for the Dons in the wake of his former teammate’s departure.
If McLennan can fully step up he’ll attract interest
McLennan is already a fully fledged first-team member, so it may seem odd to say he needs to ‘step up’. In some ways though, he still has to do that.
Losing Mackay-Steven means the 19-year-old hasn’t got an almost mentor-like figure to look to. As much as he was inconsistent, the recent New York City arrival is good on his day. You’d like to think he would have been a helping hand to McLennan.
The leadership of Graeme Shinnie has also been lost this transfer window. That’s two guys McLennan could have looked to for guidance gone.
Of course there will be others to look up to, but McLennan should aim to be as independent as possible. He’s shown he has the ability, now all he has to do is play for a sustained period of time.
His aim should be to play at least 30 Premiership games and most cup games. McLennan needs to show Derek McInnes why he shouldn’t even consider bringing in a Mackay-Steven replacement.
He’s got bags of ability. The 2019/20 season could be the one where McLennan fully proves he can go to the top. It may just attract some interest in him, should he continue his positive development.