Manchester United assistant coach Kieran McKenna has come out of nowhere and emerged as the frontrunner to take charge at Ipswich Town.
Sky Sports have reported that the 35-year-old is due to be announced as Paul Cook’s permanent replacement in the next few days.
Last night’s defeat to Barrow indicated how necessary an imminent appointment was for the Tractor Boys but this looks to be a risky one given his lack of experience.
With January just around the corner, it would be a surprise if McKenna didn’t look to make the most of his Old Trafford links by signing a few Red Devils players on loan for the second half of the 2021/22 campaign – and nor should he.
The Northern Irishman has served as an assistant to Ralf Rangnick, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and Jose Mourinho but made his name as a coach at youth level with the U18s at first Tottenham and then United.
Clearly, he’s a coach that the Old Trafford outfit trust with their developing stars and that should play into his hands if he does indeed take charge at Ipswich.
McKenna’s current squad is hardly short of talent but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t look to capitalise on his United links and there are two players that should be top of his list.
Reports last month suggested that centre-back Teden Mengi could be sent out on loan in January and he would certainly make a strong addition to the squad – having not looked out of place in the senior side when injuries forced him to fill in earlier this season.
17-year-old forward Shola Shoretire is another that could make an interesting addition, having impressed with United’s age-group sides and the England U21s this term but not quite grabbed his first team opportunity with both hands.
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Sending both to Portman Road to continue their on-field education under the safe stewardship of McKenna may be appealing to the Premier League side, while it should raise the quality of the option available to him in League One.
His links to United are a clear strength that he should not be afraid to capitalise on if he does take charge of the Tractor Boys.