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In Focus: Kenny McLean

19 April 2020

One of the more senior members of the Norwich City squad, Kenny McLean has been a solid, reliable midfielder for the Canaries in countless fixtures.

Much like the rest of the City squad, this is also McLean’s first season in the Premier League, so how has he performed in the English topflight? Here’s his best three showings this season… ⬇

2. Newcastle (A) 7.45

An extremely competitive game, so much so, there could be no winner. When Steve Bruce’s Magpies hosted the Canaries at St James’ Park, it was bound to be a close one. With both teams playing a high intensity in their football, the game was more or less end-to-end.

McLean was crucial in this fixture, slotting next to Alex Tettey in the classic 4-2-3-1 formation. The Scotsman was both attentive to any danger that may have loomed over the City side, as well as attacking-minded when going forward, carrying the ball with him in each turnover.

Like a shadow on any Newcastle shirt who dared pick up the ball, McLean didn’t stop running for the 90 minutes and was one of the big factors in keeping the clean sheet away from home.

Although there’s no doubt a win would’ve seen him take in a higher rating, especially since it was all City in the last 15 minutes, the midfielder was still given an impressive 7.45 from Whoscored.com for this fixture. Pretty good for the second-best all season!

=1. Everton (A) 8.27

Many Canaries fans will remember this game an important one for the earlier stages of our season, the first away win of the 2019-2020 campaign. Not only was it a deserved win, but City fans were treated to a clean sheet too, after a solid defensive display.

This game was textbook McLean, reading play to intercept, putting pressure on before the opposition could even get a touch and carrying the ball forward with great purpose. But why would this be his joint-best performance all season?

In this game alone, McLean won an unbelievable 12 aerials. To put that into perspective, that’s the same amount as Virgil Van Dijk and Harry Maguire’s best tallies of aerials this season, both of those men being centre-halves!

After such a performance, it just had to be his joint-best this season, as Whoscored.com gave him an outstanding 8.27 rating.  

=1. Manchester City (H) 8.27

We had to save this one for last, didn’t we? Despite being joint with Everton for the top rating McLean has received this season, he played more minutes in this game than at Goodison Park, technically making this his best game all season (although he only played three minutes more!).

This game doesn’t need much introduction. Coming up against the Premier League’s reigning champions, with two goalkeepers on the bench due to a long injury list, the Canaries were more than the underdogs.

McLean was just as vital in this game as many others, continuing to slot in next to Tettey as a defensive midfielder, playing his usual textbook McLean style of play. This game was a bit more special for the Scotsman, however.

It was the midfielder who opened the scoring, running into unmarked territory on a corner and nodding it past Ederson perfectly to find his first Premier League goal.

Going on to play consistently well for the full 90 minutes, chasing everything he could to create an attacking threat and defending like his life depended on it, McLean earnt himself yet another well-deserved 8.27 rating from Whoscored.com for this game.


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