KENNY McLean has ambitions to play in the Barclays Premier League one day - but admits his dreams could be wrecked if he cannot save St Mirren from the drop.
Along with midfield colleague John McGinn, the Scotland Under-21 cap is among the Buddies’ most saleable assets.
But the 22-year-old knows that the longer Saints remain rooted to the bottom of the Scottish Premiership, the harder it will be for him to win his big move.
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McLean - who has been tipped with moves to Wolves, Burnley and Rangers over the past two years - told Press Association Sport: “Everybody has their ambitions and I’m no different. I want to play as high as I can.
“I would love to play on a big stage but at this minute in time St Mirren is my club and I’m part of the reason why we are in this position.
“So my focus is solely on getting us out of trouble.
“Nobody wants a relegation on their CV. It could impact what happens to your career. Right now we are not doing well, so why should teams be interested in any of us?
“No matter where any of the boys go in future, there is no doubt they would never want to see St Mirren go down the leagues.”
Saints have gone almost 12 weeks without a win and trail relegation rivals Ross County by a point ahead of Saturday’s trip to Dundee.
But their chances of escaping the drop zone could be severely damaged if McGinn - linked with a January switch to boyhood favourites Celtic as well as a host of Sky Bet Championship clubs down south - is allowed to leave.
McLean though has told his friend to ignore the transfer speculation and concentrate fully on pulling his Buddies out of the mire.
“Everybody knows John’s qualities,” said McLean, who felt he wrongly had a goal chalked off in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Motherwell. “So coming up to transfer windows, these rumours are always going to crop up.
“But he is big enough to handle it. He’s been through it all before.
“He just needs to focus on what’s happening here with St Mirren. I have got no doubt that John will go on to bigger things but at this moment in time we need him to stand up and help us get out of this position.
“I’ve been there myself and at times all the speculation can get to you. It’s happened a few times to both of us now. But we’ve been through it and know what is needed is total concentration.
“The results we have been getting are just not good enough. We can complain about decisions like my goal last week but at the end of the day we’ve not been picking up results.”
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