What the 12 Premiership sides need before transfer window shuts - big Rangers signing, Hearts & Hibs issues
Jim Goodwin’s Pittodrie overhaul currently stands at 11 and he admitted if the window was to shut now he would be more than happy with the squad he has built. He also revealed the club are in the market for one more. Supporters will be looking at the possible addition of Connor Ronan who impressed under Goodwin at St Mirren. The Irish midfielder provides a goal threat in the final third but he is also someone who would help the team’s possession play and able to do so under pressure. A position where there is not much depth is at centre-back. It has already been witnessed the impact Liam Scales being unavailable can have. Ross McCrorie was dropped back and it disrupted the team dynamic.
Do they really need anyone? They’ve just scudded Dundee United 9-0, added even more attacking substance with Sead Haksabanovic and look a more complete proposition under Ange Postecoglou. Looking ahead to Europe where they are unlikely to have anywhere near the 72.7 per cent of possession they average in the Premiership, a more defensive-minded midfielder who would bring added protection alongside Callum McGregor could be useful. It’s not a case of bringing in some who only charges around and tackles as that player would be redundant in the Premiership. Someone who fits into the club’s identity while providing more screening qualities.
Twenty three goals conceded in the last four games points to some very serious issues. There’ll be plenty of Dundee United supporters with the view they club need a new manager after 7-0, 4-1, 3-0 and 9-0 defeats. United currently have a goalkeeping issue with neither Mark Birighitti or Carljohan Eriksson instilling confidence. The squad is lacking balance epitomised by the lack of midfielder in the manner of Calum Butcher who provided protection and aggression at the base of the midfield. Just ten tackles in the loss to Celtic is not a good look.
Sunday’s 3-2 win over St Johnstone came at a cost with Liam Boyce, Kye Rowles and Nathaniel Atkinson all suffering injuries. Robbie Neilson admitted the club may have to be “more aggressive" in the transfer market. Orestis Kiomourtzoglou has been added to the midfield options. Depending on the severity of Boyce’s injury, Hearts could require two forwards. Those two possible additions would need to add versatility, capable of playing as a No.10, pace to offer in behind and someone who could replace Lawrence Shankland. Rowles is the third Hearts centre-back to suffer an injury this campaign. Lewis Neilson displayed his quality as part of the squad but if one of the first-choice options are going to be unavailable for a prolonged period it could force Neilson’s hand.
Lee Johnson revealed the club are “not going to be able to move much in the market”. Rocky Bushiri's injury has increased the need for a new centre-back. Supporters would also like to see a striker and attacking midfielder added to the squad and understandably so. Elias Melkersen has been ineffective, Christian Doidge is still finding his rhythm since injury and being on the periphery, while Kevin Nisbet is still recovering. In terms of midfield profiles, there is no one who gives the team what Kyle Magennis does but it is coming up to a year since his last appearance.
Killie picked up their first and much-needed win at the weekend. They have a well-organised squad who will be competitive against all teams. However, they are still relying on the attacking players who played a part in their promotion from the Championship. Daniel Armstrong and Liam Polworth have shown up well so far but they still need to add both depth and quality, both in terms of creative players and forwards not much in reserve behind Kyle Lafferty and Oli Shaw.
David Martindale, like Jim Goodwin, got a lot of his work done early and there wasn’t much to do with the majority of his key players remaining. The Livi boss has spoken previously of looking to add a wide forward to his squad. Other than Josh Mullin and Cristian Montano they don’t have a lot of natural width. Such a player who can also operate centrally would tick a lot of boxes for Livingston going forward.
Following his appointment as permanent Well boss Steven Hammell made it clear reinforcements were required. Stuart McKinstry and Matt Penney have since been added, the former an exciting addition on loan from Leeds United who snapped him up from the Steelmen in 2019. There is still a glaring need for another striker. Currently, Kevin van Veen is carrying the load in attack. There is no one who can lead the line like him and provide an out ball the way he does. If he was to pick up an injury, Motherwell would be snookered. A new forward not only provides competition but allows Hammell to tweak the system as well or play Van Veen in a withdrawn or wider role.
The club released the ticketing details and prices for the three Champions League games on Monday. With adult packages for the three fixtures ranging from £150 to £180, supporters were less than pleased with many making it known that they expect the club to put their hand in their pocket to add players to Giovanni van Bronckhorst's squad. Looking at what is available to the Dutchman, he has plenty of depth across the pitch if everyone is fit. Where the team are now, signings have to be of the necessary quality to elevate the starting XI. With that in mind, additions to the final third, in terms of creation and striker depth, would be welcomed.
The Staggies are one of the teams to have added double figures in terms of additions and Malky Mackay has a well balanced squad. Despite just one win from five, their performances have been good on the whole and no drastic action is required. They are in a position where they don’t need to panic and only need to sign if a good option becomes available.
It is remarkable that Saints have signed ten but still look so light in certain areas, namely the final third. A striker has to be a priority. They need more creativity with an over reliance on Graham Carey, albeit David Wotherspoon will be returning. They don’t possess a goal threat from midfield, Carey aside, and lack a controlling presence in the middle of the park. If they are to avoid a relegation battle they need to add in the coming days.
Stephen Robinson and his recruitment team have been very shrewd in the market, adding quality over quantity. Of the eight additions, six have already contributed positively to a strong start to the league season. Speaking after the 1-0 win over Hibs, Robinson revealed he wasn’t planning to go into the market, only if a player was to leave or if something presented itself which appealed. There has been speculation around Joe Shaughnessy. He is someone who would need to be replaced in the squad if he left.
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