Houston talks up Mackay-Steven

PA Sport
Gary Mackay-Steven (left) in action against Dinamo Moscow

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Gary Mackay-Steven (left) in action against Dinamo Moscow

Dundee United manager Peter Houston claimed Gary Mackay-Steven's value had rocketed after Dinamo Moscow struggled to contain the winger in a 2-2 Europa League draw at Tannadice.

The Scotland Under-21 international ran at the Russians throughout an absorbing second half at Tannadice, at one point waltzing past Australian international and former Middlesbrough full-back Luke Wilkshire as if he was not there before sending in a cross that almost led to a goal.

Mackay-Steven's corner led to United's second goal as Keith Watson bundled home what he thought was the winner, before Alexander Kokorin's deflected strike from 25 yards earned the visitors a draw in the first leg of the third qualifying round.

Houston felt the former Liverpool trainee had outshone Moscow's Hungarian winger Balazs Dzsudzsak, who cost £15million from Anzi Makhachkala.

He said: "You look at their guy who they signed for 19million euros and you look at Gary Mackay-Steven. I'll tell you who I'd want in my team every week. What's Gary Mackay-Steven worth then? Because he has the ability to take men on."

Houston, whose side took the lead through Willo Flood before being pegged back for the first time just after the break, agreed the youngster had sent his value soaring.

"You better believe it, if anyone is looking at him," Houston said.

"We don't want to lose him and Gary wants to be here. What I would say is Gary Mackay-Steven has a big season ahead of him.

"He came into the team in November and December and really stepped up to the plate.

"The second season is always the hardest for young players. "It was the second season for Johnny Russell last year and he produced. Let's see if Gary Mackay-Steven can do it. He has started to produce, albeit very early. Let's see if he can do it week in, week out in the SPL and then his value will be extremely high, in my opinion."

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