Insider: Ex-Aberdeen winger Gary Mackay-Steven will excite Portsmouth fans with his tricky talents

Callum Law, sports reporter at the Aberdeen Evening Express, gives the lowdown on impending Pompey arrival Gary Mackay-Steven...

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 2:00 pm
Aberdeen Evening Express reporter Callum Law believes impending Pompey arrival Gary Mackay-Stanley will excite the Fratton faithful. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Gary is a typically tricky winger who likes to get the full-back in a one-v-one situation to try to beat him and put a cross into the box.

With his pace, he can hit teams on the counter-attack and is good for a goal as well.

Naturally left-footed, Gary normally plays on the left of Derek McInnes’ favoured 4-2-3-1 system, although they do go with a 4-3-3 for the odd game, with him higher on the left.

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He can also play on the right, cutting in to get shots off with his left foot, but predominantly features on the left.

Certainly, Aberdeen’s fans will be disappointed with his departure as a free agent.

He had been linked with New York City. However, not being disrespectful, competing with League One football would have left supporters hoping Aberdeen could be more of a draw.

McInnes tried really hard to keep Mackay-Steven, he was one they were waiting on for a long time and was presented with an offer as good as they could.

When the retained list was released at the season’s end, there was no mention of him as they were still hoping he would stay.

During the second half of last season, injuries held him back, particularly following a good patch of form, earning a Scotland call-up in a friendly against Portugal.

Mackay-Steven was flying, but in December’s Scottish League Cup final he had to be substituted following an accidental clash of heads.

He was out stone cold for a wee bit on the pitch, then sidelined for six weeks with concussion.

The winger returned for six weeks before injuring his ankle against Rangers, ruling him out until the final game of the season, when he made his comeback at Hibernian.

Gary can be inconsistent, when he is good he is very good, but there are times as well when it doesn’t quite happen for him.

It didn’t quite work out for him at Celtic through injury and a wee bit of inconsistency, but he’s an exciting player.

And exciting players are always popular because they make things happen.