Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Who else could come or go?

We're two games into the Scottish Premiership season, and just two weeks from the end of the transfer window.  So managers now have a good idea of the further reinforcements they need, but they don't have a lot of time left to get them!

So what further business might each club do?  And who might they try to move on before the end of August?

NEEDS: The Dons have done plenty of business already this summer, and it wouldn't be a surprise if there are no more signings in this window.  If a half-decent central defender was to become available, however, then they should jump at the chance to acquire him.

FURTHER EXITS? Peter Pawlett was linked with a loan move to Hibs last month, and he's badly in need of regular games.  Derek McInnes may wait for Jonny Hayes to return to fitness before sanctioning his departure though.

NEEDS: I imagine Brendan Rodgers would like to strengthen in most areas, but a lot depends on whether the club qualify for the Champions League - that would give him far greater financial clout, and make it easier to tempt players to move to Scotland.

FURTHER EXITS? Despite a few folk leaving, the squad remains bloated.  Expect a concerted effort to move on the likes of Logan Bailly (if fit), Efe Ambrose, Emilio Izaguirre, Kris Commons, Liam Henderson, Stefan Johansen, Gary Mackay-Steven and Nadir Ciftci, either on loan or on permanent deals.  None of them seem to have a future at Celtic Park.

NEEDS: Despite bringing in Faissal El Bakhtaoui as a replacement for Kane Hemmings, the club have been linked with Hearts striker Juanma, as they badly need to increase their attacking firepower.  Losing Greg Stewart was a blow, but Paul Hartley has himself said "he's irreplaceable".  The defence remains a weakness, but they seem comfortable to blood young Cammy Kerr at right-back and to muddle on until James McPake is fit to return in central defence.

FURTHER EXITS? Actually, they're relatively short of numbers - they didn't fill the bench on Saturday - so it would be a surprise if anyone else leaves.

NEEDS: Quality in pretty much every area.  Accies played with two midfielders as full-backs last weekend; they really can't go on like that.  But the budget is tight.

FURTHER EXITS? Once the dust has settled, expect a few fringe youngsters to go out on loan.  There will be increasing fear that Ali Crawford, outstanding so far this season, could be subject of a bid or two in the next fortnight.

NEEDS: The Jambos did a lot of business early this summer, and seem to be well covered in every position.  It wouldn't be unlike Craig Levein to suddenly add a random European player to the squad though.

FURTHER EXITS? As mentioned above, Juanma has been linked with Dundee after falling behind Conor Sammon and Tony Watt in the striking pecking order.  Juwon Oshaniwa has been supplanted at left-back and is surplus to requirements.

NEEDS: They desperately needed a powerful centre-back even before Kevin McNaughton was lost for the season.  Farid El Alagui is on trial, but they could do with a striker who has pace rather than brawn.

FURTHER EXITS: They're another team who are relatively short on numbers.  If El Alagui joins, Alex Fisher may be let out of his contract early.

NEEDS: Lee Clark has already signed a gazillion players and seems to be throwing them at the wall to see if any of them stick.

FURTHER EXITS: Conrad Balatoni has no squad number and was deleted from the club's website, so it's safe to say he'll be 'mutually consented' if he can't find a new club.  

NEEDS: They're probably pretty well set, especially if they give midfielder Lee Lucas a longer deal.  A better keeper would be nice, but I doubt the budget stretches that far.

FURTHER EXITS: It was no surprise to see Louis Laing return to England on loan; his fellow defender Kieran Kennedy might also be a candidate for a move south as he doesn't seem to be in Mark McGhee's plans.  

NEEDS: Possibly another midfielder now Stuart Bannigan is out long-term, but they may have enough options to cope.

FURTHER EXITS: Keeper David Crawford's short-term contract won't be extended now Tomas Cerny is fit again.  I'm not convinced Mathias Pogba has a future at the club beyond being "the target man we throw on if we're behind with ten minutes left and need to punt the ball forward".

NEEDS: I'm not sure a £1.5m 28 year old striker who scored only six goals in the English Championship last season counts as a 'need' for Rangers, but what do I know?  They do need better defenders, so it's no surprise to see Philippe Senderos and Joleon Lescott's names flagged up.

FURTHER EXITS: Robbie Crawford and Andy Murdoch weren't given squad numbers, so they seem set to be the latest Rangers youth products to fail to make the grade.  If I were Jason Holt, I'd be worried about my lack of action so far this season.

NEEDS: A replacement for Jackson Irvine, but that might be beyond them.  They've been linked with Turkish midfielder Erdem Sen.

FURTHER EXITS: Veteran Scott Boyd has been ostracized, but it's his testimonial year so he's not keen to leave and Roy MacGregor isn't as keen as his manager on forcing out such a loyal servant.  Now Andrew Davies is staying, the club have too many centre-backs, so Chris Robertson might be a candidate to move on.

NEEDS: A striker who could take the goalscoring load off Steven MacLean would be useful.  Otherwise they'll be fine when they've got a few folk back from injuries.

FURTHER EXITS: I'd have said Brad McKay, but he's forced himself back into the first team reckoning after a terrible first season in Perth.

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