Date: 21st July 2015
WHILE the Scottish Premiership’s finest cannot compete with many other European Leagues in monetary terms, it is no less active than its counterparts. Here we look at how our top-flight teams are getting on so far in this year’s transfer window, both through players coming in and moving out of their dressing rooms. Here is the first six sides (picked via alphabetical order before anyone cries bias!) with the next six covered tomorrow.
Excellent early acquisition of Scottish Cup winner Graham Shinnie should help bring even more stability to an already solid Dons defence. Should come in handy having lost club captain Russell Anderson to retirement, though, he will need replacing at centre-back, especially in light of Mark Reynolds’ recent injury in Europe. Also, a little depressingly, lost hot prospect Declan McManus to the English League One, the Scotland Under-21 international jumping ship despite the Dons qualifying for Europe this year. Must hold onto last season’s top scorer Adam Rooney, while the loan signing of goalkeeper Danny Ward from Liverpool could yet prove an inspired acquisition by Derek McInnes, as he is hotly rated by Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers.
Seem to have found a solid replacement for last season’s excellent Jason Denayer in Belgian international Dedryck Boyata. Right-back Saidy Janko, signed from Boyata’s previous rival club Manchester United could also be a coup for the Hoops, with many Red Devils furious to lose the prospect. Lost Adam Matthews to the Premiership, and it is yet to be seen whether Nadir Ciftci is Champions League quality up front. He may struggle to settle quickly given he will miss the first six games of the season due to his recent suspension, and Celtic can no longer call on John Guidetti which may put pressure on Leigh Griffiths early on.
Paul Hartley has seen something of an overhaul this summer with former Real Sociedad defender Julen Etxabeguren Leanizbarrutia, Aberdeen midfielder Nicky Low and free-scoring Rory Loy from Falkirk all joining. Allowed forwards David Clarkson and Martin Boyle to leave at the end of the season, so will be hoping Loy can make the step up from the Championship and likewise Kane Hemmings who has been brought in from Barnsley. Nick Ross could be a great signing for Hartley, the 23-year-old joining from Inverness Caley Thistle due to a lack of game time in the Highlands.
Losing Ciftci was not a great start, and the Terrors must be sick to death of losing their best players to Celtic, so replacing him as well as Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong remains the priority. Also lost homesick Jaroslaw Fojut to Poland, one of United’s better defenders last season, and Radoslaw Ciernziak to the same country. Much rebuilding to do, but Coll Donaldson seems a decent acquisition from QPR, the former Livi centre-back went south with much fanfare but could not break into the R’s first team.
Still needing to replace Tony Andreu and striker Mikael Antoine-Curier, the Accies also have some rebuilding to do as they continue to try and fill the void left by Alex Neil. The now Norwich boss has loaned his old side a promising young striker in Carlton Morris, having taken Andreu south with him, while new boss Canning has brought in ex-Jambo Christian Nade up front for some much needed firepower. He has also brought in defender Antons Kurakins from Ventspils and midfielder Gramoz Kurtaj.
Newly-promoted Hearts have tried to strengthen their Championship winning squad in order to make the step up to the Premiership, but face an uphill task having lost last season’s impressive skipper Danny Wilson. He opted to stay in the same division with Rangers, so Blazej Augustyn of Legia Warsaw has been brought in to fill the gap, with Jahmal Howlett-Mundle joining from Crystal Palace one for the future. A prolific striker will be key for Hearts who are aiming to reach the top six in their first season back in the top flight, and Neilson will be hoping that either the giant Spanish striker Juanma Delgado or Scot Gavin Reilly will add goals which could push the Tynecastle side up the table again.
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