Scott McKenna wants to move to England some day but only when the Aberdeen defender is convinced he won’t join the plethora of promising players who have gone south only to return with their potential diminished.
Ryan Fraser may be a success with Bournemouth in the Premiership but McKenna, the more recent graduate of the Pittodrie club’s youth academy, knows the former Dons winger is a rare exception.
That’s why someone who has only played 20 top-team games for Aberdeen was far from disappointed that Derek McInnes rejected four bids from Hull City for the player during last month’s transfer window.
It’s a reflection of the relegation-threatened Championship club’s interest that during that period the bids rose from a paltry £200,000 to a £1 million package on deadline day.
McInnes is convinced that McKenna, whose contract expires in 2021, will make the grade in England if he is patient and gains more experience under his guidance first, and it is a theory that chimes with the ambitious Scotland Under-21 player himself.
“I think in the long term everyone is hopeful that they’ll get down south at some point and play in the Championship or the Premiership but I want that to be when the time is right,” said McKenna.
“I want to feel that when I go down to a club that I’ll be ready to play in the first team, hopefully after 100 to 150 games at Aberdeen.
“I don’t want to go down south and sit about as a squad player. I don’t want to be coming back after a couple of years when I’ve been forgotten about. Hopefully I can go down there eventually and make a name for myself.
“I’ve only played 20 games in the top team here so I’m in no hurry to go anywhere and, while it’s nice to know other clubs are interested, I just have to keep my feet on the ground.”