McLean focused on St Mirren
Lennon says midfielder could emulate Souness or Dalglish
Last Updated: August 11, 2012 9:41pm
Kenny McLean: Concentrating on performing well for St Mirren
Kenny McLean has been tipped to become the next Graeme Souness or Kenny Dalglish but says he is not thinking about a possible move to England.
McLean produced an inspirational performance in St Mirren's 2-0 victory over Dundee in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday.
The midfielder's 35-yard strike six minutes from the interval, which gave Dees keeper Rab Douglas no chance, was fit on its own to win any game, although striker Sam Parkin clinched the points when he grabbed a second after the break.
Afterwards manager Danny Lennon predicted great things for his Scotland Under 21 player in the future, although he is glad to have him at the Paisley club in the meantime.
"It was a wonderful goal and he has got that in his locker," said the Buddies boss. "The ball was still rising when it hit the back of the net.
"Maybe this season we will unleash a new Souness or Dalglish and I certainly think McLean has the ability to do that.
"There will be a little bit of help from myself and the staff, but he certainly has the tools to do it.
"He is going into his second full season and he has two years of his contract still to go.
"He has a lot of development still in him and we think he is in the correct environment.
"Kenny McLean has all to the tools to be a top player, wherever he goes."
Lennon believes McLean, 20, should be pushing for a place in Craig Levein's plans for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers even though he was left out of Billy Stark's Under 21 squad for this month's challenge match against Belgium.
Lennon said: "First and foremost he has to get into Billy Stark's Under 21 squad and Billy didn't think he was quite ready.
"But he certainly has it in his locker, I see his professionalism and ability on a daily basis."
McLean appeared taken aback when told that his manager was talking about him in the same breath as Souness and Dalglish, but pledged his immediate future to the Saints.
"I don't know how to take that," he said. "There is a lot to live up to there but hopefully I will keep getting better.
"The manager has given me a platform so hopefully there is better to come.
"I am enjoying my football here so it (moving south) is not something I am looking for in the immediate future.
"I am delighted with the way things are going, working under the gaffer and Tommy Craig is brilliant so hopefully I will keep progressing.
"A year or two down the line we will see what happens, but I just want to do well here."