McLean reveals toughest Premier League opponent
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean rates Jordan Henderson as his hardest Premier League foe.
The Canaries’ ace should be in the midst of a Premier League and FA Cup tilt and, if things had gone to plan, preparing for Scotland’s upcoming European Championships appearance.
But football’s shutdown due to the global pandemic has afforded the 28-year-old a chance to reflect on how far he has come with the rest of Daniel Farke’s squad.
City endured a baptism of fire at the champions-elect on the opening night, and that 4-1 defeat to Liverpool was an eye opener.
“There is so much quality across the league but for me the player of the year is Jordan Henderson,” said McLean.
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“We played them on the opening day and that was when Liverpool beat us 4-1. We had this habit of winning, we knew we wouldn’t win as many as last year but we felt we could be in every game but that night at Anfield was a proper welcome to the Premier League.
“To play against lads like Jordan Henderson, he just controlled the game.
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“He is an athlete with so much more quality than he probably gets credit for. Across the board you might say Kevin De Bruyne is probably the best in the world.
“Hopefully we get the chance to play the season out and prove we are good enough to stay here with those type of players.”
McLean has the small matter of a potential European Championship play-off tie against Israel as well, in Scotland’s bid to reach the finals of the re-arranged tournament in 2021.
If the Scots win at Hampden they will travel to either Norway or Serbia in a winner-takes-all contest with a huge prize at stake.
“I am confident,” said McLean, speaking on the PLZ Soccer Football Show.
“The Israel game, I think we go in as favourites because of our quality, and then whoever we get after that is a one-off game. And that game decides if we go to the European Championships. I have no doubt we would leave everything out there.
“Going away with Scotland is something I love. Any Scottish player wants to go and represent their country and I am no different.
“You want to do as well for your club and when it comes to the national squad, and games like this that could potentially take you to the Euros, it is one you are desperate to be involved in.”