Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Keep or release?

Right, so it's January...which means players who are in the last six months of their contracts can start looking elsewhere.  Not that there tends to be much in the way of 'pre-contracts' in Scotland...last year there was Graeme Shinnie and Gary Mackay-Steven (who made his move to Celtic permanent in the January 2015 window anyway).  Most of the out of contract players - 133, by my count (only players with first team experience are included) - will just be happy to get new deals with their current clubs.

Regulars will know that I've made a Herculean effort to keep squad lists and contract details updated on this page.  So here's how each club stands, and how they might deal with their impending free agents...

(note - if any of this info is wrong, please be a darling and let me know?  Cheers)

Out of contract: Scott Brown, David Goodwillie, Shaleum Logan, Barry Robson, Craig Storie

Sign them up! Shay Logan has proven himself to be a capable right-back, but there have been rumblings that he wants to return to England.  Maybe Derek McInnes can convince him to stay?

Time to move on? David Goodwillie hasn't started a game since mid-October; chances are he is on decent wages, and unless he takes a pay cut the Dons might replace him with someone of better value.  There's every chance that 37 year old Barry Robson might retire.  And will Scott Brown want to stay to be a backup keeper?

Out of contract: Derk Boerrigter, James Forrest, Charlie Mulgrew

Sign them up! James Forrest divides opinion to say the least, but it would be a shock if he didn't get a new deal, partly because he is Celtic-through-and-through, partly because Ronny Deila rates him, and partly because he could be a saleable asset in the future.

Time to move on? Charlie Mulgrew has struggled badly with injuries and form this season, but his versatility might convince the club to keep him.  Derk Boerrigter will be punted in January if Celtic can find someone to take him.

Out of contract: Kostadin Gadzhalov, Gary Harkins, Gary Irvine, Cammy Kerr, Thomas Konrad, Paul McGinn, Paul McGowan, Kevin Thomson

Sign them up! Paul McGowan has kept himself out of trouble since moving to Tayside and remains one of the league's better creative players.  Young Cammy Kerr looks like a prospect and started the new year derby.  Paul McGinn remains a first choice at right-back, even though his form has been up and down.

Time to move on? Dundee look like a better team when Kevin Thomson is fit...but that isn't very often.  Paul Hartley could do with a less fragile holding midfield player.  Kostadin Gadzhalov and Thomas Konrad are no better than reserves in central defence, while Gary Harkins and Gary Irvine have long associations with the Dark Blues but neither have been regulars this season.

Out of contract: Aidan Connolly, Guy Demel, Ryan Dow, Chris Erskine, Gavin Gunning, Eiji Kawashima, Marc McCallum, Ryan McGowan, Callum Morris, John Rankin, Jamie Robson, Florent Sinama Pongolle, Scott Smith, John Souttar, Euan Spark

Sign them up! What United do will depend on who they bring in during this window, and what division they end up in.  They certainly want to give John Souttar a new deal (but whether the youngster will sign it is another matter).  Ryan Dow is a limited player, but gives the sort of effort that has been lacking from many of his teammates and might be worth a new deal.  John Rankin's experience is likely to be useful, either in the Premiership or the Championship.

Time to move on? Ryan McGowan has been linked with a pre-contract move to Aberdeen.  Recent signings Guy Demel, Eiji Kawashima and Florent Sinama Pongolle all have a 'gone at the end of the season' vibe.  Marc McCallum is now fourth choice keeper and could make permanent his recent loan spell at Livingston.  Aidan Connolly was a McNamara favourite but doesn't seem to be a Mixu one.  Callum Morris' recent knee injury may work against him.
(6/1/16 update: Jamie Robson has signed a new contract)

Out of contract: Eamonn Brophy, Alex D'Acol, Jesus Garcia Tena, Ziggy Gordon, Dougie Imrie, Louis Longridge, Lucas, Christopher Mandiangu, Alan Martin, Scott McMann, Michael McGovern, Darian McKinnon, Christian Nade, Daniel Redmond, Jamie Sendles-White

Sign them up! Michael McGovern has been linked with Hibs; Accies need to keep the Northern Ireland international keeper if they can.  Ziggy Gordon will also attract attention from elsewhere, and would be too old to command a development fee if he leaves.  Lucas has proven a competent central defender at times, and at least provides a goal threat at set plays.  Young forward Brophy has plenty of admirers.  I'm not a big fan of Darian McKinnon's uncompromising style, but Martin Canning appears to be a fan.  Dougie Imrie is on the coaching staff anyway and hasn't shown signs of slowing down yet.

Time to move on? Jesus Garcia Tena looks like a decent Championship player, no more; the same could be said of Louis Longridge.  Alex D'Acol and Christian Nade have offered little other than nuisance value.
(6/1/16 update: Darian McKinnon and Dougie Imrie have signed new contracts)

Out of contract: Neil Alexander, Kenny Anderson, Blazej Augustyn, Angus Beith, Nathan Flanagan, Scott Gallacher, Liam Henderson, Callum Morrison, Miguel Pallardo, Alistair Roy, Liam Smith, Osman Sow, Danny Swanson

Sign them up! Osman Sow will be approached by a number of suitors this summer, so it will be a coup if Hearts can keep the Swede at Tynecastle.  Veteran Neil Alexander remains a reliable keeper, while Blazej Augustyn has established himself in defence.

Time to move on? Scott Gallacher and Kenny Anderson have already been told they can go.  Danny Swanson hasn't impressed since joining in September.  Miguel Pallardo seems to have been pushed down the pecking order by Arnaud Djoum.
(6/1/16 update: Kenny Anderson has been released)

Out of contract: Dean Brill, Danny Devine, Aaron Doran, Ross Draper, Ryan Esson, Calum Ferguson, Owain Fon Williams, Lewis Horner, Dani Lopez, Cameron Mackay, Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo, Liam Polworth, David Raven, Jordan Roberts, Ali Sutherland, Carl Tremarco, Iain Vigurs, Jamie Vincent, Nat Wedderburn, Danny Williams

Sign them up! ICT barely have anyone under contract for next season, so expect plenty of these players to stick around.  Ross Draper has already been offered a new deal.  Liam Polworth has been a revelation this season and will surely stay.  Owain Fon Williams, Danny Devine, Danny Williams and Jamie Vincent have all been first team regulars this season, so it would be a shock if Yogi didn't offer them new deals.

Time to move on? Dani Lopez's spell in Scotland has been pretty disastrous and he could be let go in this window if a new club can be found.  Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo is all flash and no substance.  The futures of Dean Brill and Aaron Doran will be dependent on their recoveries from serious knee injuries.  David Raven has been a good servant, but there have been rumours that he fell out with the manager.

Out of contract: Lee Ashcroft, Ross Barbour, Conor Brennan, Dean Hawkshaw, Chris Johnston, Rory McKenzie, Scott McLean, Craig Slater, Aaron Splaine, David Syme, Darryl Westlake

Sign them up! Youngsters Aaron Splaine and David Syme are on the fringes of the first team and are surely worth another year or two.  Rory McKenzie was having a good season prior to recent injury, and Craig Slater is a decent enough midfielder at this level.

Time to move on? Lee Ashcroft and Ross Barbour may be academy graduates, but they're now 22 and haven't cemented a place in the team.  Darryl Westlake has had injury problems but hasn't been a regular when fit.  Chris Johnston is currently recovering from a cruciate injury, so his future must be uncertain.

Out of contract: Chris Cadden, David Clarkson, David Ferguson, Wes Fletcher, Steven Hammell, Keith Lasley, Jack Leitch, Scott McDonald, Stephen McManus, Craig Moore, Craig Reid, Theo Robinson, Craig Samson, Dan Twardzik

Sign them up! You know, it's not impossible that all these players are let go...but Scott McDonald has been in good form and still has something left in his legs, while Stephen McManus has been much improved under Mark McGhee.  Steven Hammell remains a reliable option at left-back.

Time to move on? It's clear that neither Dan Twardzik nor Craig Reid have any future at Fir Park.  David Clarkson is well past his best.  And could this May be the end of Keith Lasley's indian summer? (yes, I know I've been asking that for two years...)

Out of contract: David Amoo, Stuart Bannigan, Callum Booth, Tomas Cerny, Kris Doolan, Ryan Edwards, Frederic Frans, Paul Gallacher, Steven Lawless, Jordan Leyden, Neil McLaughlin, Gary Miller, Abdul Osman, Mathias Pogba, Ryan Scully, Danny Seaborne, Ryan Stevenson, David Wilson

Sign them up! Eighteen players out of contract, so Alan Archibald is bound to re-sign many of them once Thistle's top flight status is secured.  Top of the list will be first team regulars Tomas Cerny Callum Booth, Stuart Bannigan, Abdul Osman, Danny Seaborne, Steven Lawless and Kris Doolan...assuming they all want to stay.

Time to move on? Ryan Stevenson is clearly surplus to requirements, as he's been loaned to Ayr United.  Players who have been mostly on the bench - Frederic Frans and Mathias Pogba, for example - haven't done enough to justify a new deal.

Out of contract: Rocco Quinn, Jamie Reckord, Alex Schalk

Sign them up! Reckord is a perfectly competent left-back, and it would be a surprise if he wasn't offered a new contract.

Time to move on? Alex Schalk hasn't had much of a chance so far; injuries should give him a run in the team to show what he can do.  Quinn is in his fifth season at County, but he isn't a first choice and it might be time for him to return to the central belt to find regular action.

Out of contract: Steven Anderson, Scott Brown, Liam Caddis, Liam Craig, Greg Hurst, Simon Lappin, Steven Maclean, Craig Thomson

Sign them up! Anderson has been a stalwart, and it would be a shock if he didn't commit to another season or two.  Steven Maclean is getting on a bit, but he's been as sharp as ever this season and is surely worth an extension.

Time to move on? Scott Brown and Liam Caddis have had plenty of opportunities over the last few years and haven't taken them.  Have veterans Liam Craig and Simon Lappin done enough to warrant a contract offer?

Lawrie Spence (LS) has ranted and spouted his ill-informed opinions on Narey's Toepoker since September 2007.  He has a life outside this blog.  Honestly.

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