6 Premiership stars in need of a transfer move - Celtic & Aberdeen winger, Hearts forward, Rangers midfielder

The transfer window in Scotland is set to shut at midnight on Thursday with clubs scrambling around to complete their business.

As well as additions, there will be players who clubs are looking to move on and individuals in need of regular first-team football.

The Scotsman looks at six Premiership stars who may have an eye on the exit door, whether it is a loan or permanent deal ...

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Mikey Johnston – Celtic

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Ange Postecoglou confirmed earlier in the window he would be willing to allow the winger to leave on loan. As things stand, he is sixth choice to fill one of the wide roles after the addition of Sead Haksabanovic.

Now 23, he is yet to feature this season for Celtic and needs regular first-team football after three seasons injury interruptions. His talent is not in question but his robustness and consistency certainly are. There would be a number of teams in Scotland willing to add him to their attacking ranks.

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"There's definitely a talented footballer there, but sometimes you just need a different environment to help that happen," Postecoglou said.

Stephen Kelly – Rangers

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Mikey Johnston hasn't featured for Celtic this season and is expected to go on loan. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The midfielder is likely to move on before the end of the transfer window with Livingston touted as potential suitors. Kelly was highly regarded at Ibrox, especially under Steven Gerrard. After getting a three-year deal in 2018, he had it extended in 2020 to 2023 following a strong loan spell at Ayr United. A comment from the club’s sporting director Ross Wilson was telling following the new deal and subsequent loan to Ross County.

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“Steven Gerrard has made clear to Stevie that we expect him to make a strong impact in the league at Ross County,” he said.

Kelly struggled to make a lasting impact at the Staggies and spent some of last season with Salford City. Now, with a year left on his deal, he needs to find a permanent home away from Ibrox.

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Euan Henderson – Hearts

Connor McLennan has made more than 100 appearances for Aberdeen. (Photo by Euan Cherry / SNS Group)
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The forward’s future is an interesting one. Henderson was handed a new deal for the 20222-23 campaign after impressing on loan at Alloa Athletic with 17 goals in 29 appearances for the Wasps. Yet, his first-team involvement has amounted to being an unused substitute three times.

Up until Sunday it was hard to see where game time at first-team level would come from. Then Liam Boyce was injured and there was somewhat of an olive branch from manager Robbie Neilson when speaking about adding to the squad.

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The Hearts boss said: “We have young players here who have come in, like Lewis Neilson, Connor Smith, Euan Henderson and Finlay Pollock. If the guys we look at aren't at a better level than that, then they won't be coming here.”

If forward arrivals are added, it is hard to see him having any sort of future at Tynecastle Park.

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Euan Henderson has had little first-team impact at Hearts since an impressive loan spell at Alloa Athletic. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Connor McLennan – Aberdeen

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Much has been made of the futures of David Bates and Christian Ramirez who have both been left out of the past two Aberdeen squads. McLennan is another who does not appear to feature in Jim Goodwin’s plans, not making an appearance this campaign even when on the bench.

The 22-year-old has made more than 100 appearances for the Dons in a variety of positions but hasn’t had much of an impact of late, going back to last season. Goodwin now has a number of options in wide areas and it looks like the best course of action is a loan or permanent deal away from Pittodrie.

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Jay Henderson – St Mirren

After a breakthrough campaign last season, Henderson appears to have fallen down the pecking order this season. He is yet to make a start and has not featured in the last four games. The 20-year-old was one of the positives of last season, his form earning a call-up to the Scotland Under-21 squad.

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He has featured as a wing-back but doesn’t quite fit into Stephen Robinson’s 3-5-2 system with the wing-backs required to be powerful athletes able to cover the whole flank and drop into deep defensive positions. That is not Henderson’s game. He is a wide attacker who is much more comfortable on the ball and on the front foot.

A loan switch where he is able to get game time in his preferred position would be far more beneficial.

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Dylan Tait – Hibs

The midfielder is expected to go out on loan. He’s not had the impact that was envisaged when Hibs snapped him up from Raith Rovers last season. Currently, the 20-year-old is well down the midfield pecking order and has not been involved in any Premiership squads so far.

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Tait has already seen Daniel Mackay leave on loan and get first-team minutes at Inverness CT.

“It’s important that young players get 25-plus games a season,” Lee Johnson said. “You’re not going to get them in the first team here right now but they are a step ahead of the development squad so a loan becomes the next option.”

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