City midfield ace hailed by Rangers legend

PUBLISHED: 11:30 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:30 22 April 2020

Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean had to get to the Premier League the hard way after early career setbacks Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean had to get to the Premier League the hard way after early career setbacks Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean is a role model for young footballers insists Rangers and Scotland legend Barry Ferguson.

Former Ibrox trainee McLean idolised his fellow midfielder, who won 15 trophies in Glasgow during two spells and was named captain at the age of 22.

The Norwich City playmaker was unable to emulate Ferguson’s first team breakthrough and opted to join St Mirren, who initially farmed him out to Arbroath on loan. His starring role in Aberdeen’s rise under Derek McInnes earned a Carrow Road move that ended in a Championship title win and promotion to the Premier League.

That perseverance has been hailed by Ferguson.

“I love to see that. He is a really good footballer as well,” he said. “He was another young lad that got the disappointment of being let go from Rangers. Then he goes on to St Mirren and works hard and gets his move to Aberdeen. Now after all those disappointments at a young age he is playing in the Premier League.”

McLean himself recently rated Ferguson as the best Scottish midfielder of the modern era.

“For me it is a no brainer. Incredible,” he said, speaking on the PLZ Soccer Football Show. “He was the captain of Rangers at such a young age and I don’t think we have seen anything like him in Scotland for a long time. You would struggle to top what he achieved in a team at Rangers that was littered with quality he was the stand out.

“I was at Ibrox for almost two years when I was younger but with a couple of months left on my contract at Murray Park I felt my career wasn’t going anywhere. The chance came up to go to St Mirren and I went for it. I feel as if the decision has paid off.”

McLean’s affection for Rangers remains strong with international room mate, Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie, revealing on the latest Open Goal podcast the duo would make regular trips north to watch Steven Gerrard’s Rangers before football’s current lockdown.

Barry Ferguson was a driving force in a successful Rangers era for Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean Picture: David Cheskin/PABarry Ferguson was a driving force in a successful Rangers era for Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean Picture: David Cheskin/PA

“I go to quite a few,” he said. “I could get away with it a lot more as a lad.

“Now when I go up it’s a bit harder. Me and Kenny McLean are real good pals, that’s my roommate at Scotland.

“We’ll go up whenever we can because a lot of the games are on a Sunday. So if we play on a Saturday we’ll go up to Glasgow on the Saturday night and then go and watch the game on the Sunday.

“But the last few times I’ve been up it’s not been great for us.

“I’ve been up for the semi-finals, even the game against Aberdeen we got beat. I think the last four games I’ve been to we got beat so I might hold off and stay away for a bit.”

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