Former Aberdeen defender Brian Irvine believes Scott McKenna has the potential to emulate the Scotland national team success of Colin Hendry following his move to Nottingham Forest.
McKenna is on the verge of completing a move to the City Ground, after the Dons agreed a £3 million deal with the English Championship outfit.
McKenna leaves Pittodrie having made 118 first team appearances since breaking into Derek McInnes’ side three years ago.
The 23-year-old has also established himself as a regular in the Scotland side, winning 16 caps and captaining his country in a 1-0 defeat to Mexico in the Azteca Stadium in 2018.
Irvine, who himself turned out nine times for the Scots, feels McKenna is well on course to follow the lead of former national team captain Hendry, who won the English Premier League with Blackburn Rovers in 1995, by breaking the 50-cap barrier.
Irvine said: “Personally for Scott, it’s a great move for him.
“Derek McInnes spoke on the television recently about how he is definitely going to have a good career.
“He is only 23, and already has 16 caps. He is going to be a Colin Hendry-type player that should go on to make 50 caps for Scotland.
“Who knows what he is going to achieve in the process with clubs down south, whether it’s with Nottingham Forest or moving on from there in the future.
“In 10 or 20 years, people will be looking back saying he had a good career.
“He was at Aberdeen for the beginning of it, but there’s better to come in the years ahead for Scott. It’s the start of it for him.”
McKenna was the subject of a £7 million transfer deadline day bid from Aston Villa, which was turned down by the Dons two years ago.
Although Irvine acknowledges the Reds could have pocketed a bigger sum, he feels the incoming cash injection will be a timely boost amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: “It’s half of what they could have got, but that has passed – it’s still a great offer.
“There is no Aberdeen player that has come close to earning transfer revenue like that.
“They are going to come out with the money in the bank. At this time that is going to be crucial.
“With the situation with the virus, clubs are in financial difficulties. There is no doubt about that.
“To get £3 million to cover the lost revenue through supporters not being there, for however long that is going to be, is fantastic for Aberdeen.”
Irvine feels Dons manager McInnes has put provisions in place for McKenna’s departure, having brought English defender Tommie Hoban back to Pittodrie during the summer.
He added: “It’s not as if they are going to have to scratch their heads and think who is going to play at the back.
“They could have lost 3-0 to Motherwell on Sunday whether he was playing or not, I think it was just one of those games where it didn’t really go for Aberdeen.
“They have got people in place to take his position up, so they have prepared well.”