Ross County manager Malky Mackay revealed he tried to get highly-rated Manchester City midfielder Alexander Robertson to commit to Scotland – but he’s thrilled to land him for the Highlanders.
The former Watford, Cardiff City and Wigan manager, who was most recently the Scottish FA performance director, explained he first wanted 18-year-old Robertson to pull on the navy blue of Scotland, such is his potential.
Along with full-back Jake Vokins, 21, who has arrived from Southampton, Robertson will be at the Scottish Premiership Staggies for a full season.
Mackay said: “Alexander is a young midfielder that I had tracked for a few years here with Scotland.
“His father played for Dundee. He can play for Scotland, England, Australia and, I believe, Peru.
🚨NEW SIGNING ALERT🚨
Welcome to Dingwall Alexander Robertson!
Alexander joins on a season-long loan from English Premier League Champions Manchester City!
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) July 5, 2021
“We had a meeting with Alexander and his mum, dad and family four years ago about coming to play for Scotland.
“I’ve been trying to tempt him for four years as performance director to come and play, so I have managed to get him in a slightly different guise to come on loan to Ross County and I’m delighted.
“We had a really good conversation with Manchester City and their recruitment and loans department and they felt it was a good environment to get him into. I’m delighted to get him.
“He actually had a grounding at Man United before going over to City. If you’ve had four or five years at those two clubs then you’ve got a good start. The big question, as always, is can that potential turn into talent?
“Top young talent go on to play against men. It certainly helps when you have been training with Man City’s first-team.”
Efforts to add more faces kept going despite Covid issues
The 10-day Covid lockdown at County didn’t stop Malky Mackay from continuing in his efforts to strengthen the side.
The bug struck of number of playing and coaching staff, shutting down that side of the club until they returned to the stadium on Thursday.
Mackay, who was appointed at the end of the season by chairman Roy MacGregor, made a swift start to rebuilding the squad after 10 first-team players didn’t have their contracts renewed.
Hamilton midfielder Ross Callachan was his first signing and he netted two goals in their only pre-season game at Elgin City, along with ex-Gillingham forward Dominic Samuel, who came off the bench to score in that game too.
Mackay continued to work on adding more new faces during their enforced shutdown, but reminded fans that the window remains open until the end of next month.
He stressed: “Myself and the staff have been making sure that all the way through we’re still talking to agents and players, which was about all we could do in terms of recruitment.
“It’s one of those things, you just get on with what you can – physically we couldn’t do anything, the club was shut down for 10 days.
“The window is open until the end of August and, although it’s frustrating, you will find a lot of clubs wait until then to decide what they’re doing with their players – especially if you’re looking at loans.
“Everyone would love to have all their players in for the start of pre-season, but that never happens.
“It’s an easy thing to go and sign five or six players tomorrow, but they won’t be right for the club.
“It might look great until two or three weeks into the season if they’re not at the right standard, or they’re not the right type of character.”
This week, ex-Ross County defender Brian Irvine urged the young loanees from England to follow the lead of Charlie Adam, who went on to have a top career after having a loan stint at Dingwall.