What the 12 Scottish Premiership sides need from Santa

A look at what each cinch Premiership side would love to get as a present this festive period ...

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou will be hoping Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor get a break. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou will be hoping Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor get a break. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Rangers – Lock, no key

The Scottish champions haven’t been hugely impressive, performance-wise. But they have progressed in Europe and they sit top of the league despite the upheaval of a managerial change. This is a squad who knows how to win in Scotland – after all since the start of last season they have lost just one of the last 57 leagues games. This squad gives new boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst the best chance of winning the title and all but ensuring Champions League group stage football. He needs to hold on to the likes of Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent, Glen Kamara and Ianis Hagi who have all been linked with a move away, however tenuous.

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Celtic – Reinforcements

Tony Watt has been excellent for Motherwell. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

After the Premier Sports Cup final win over Hibs Ange Postecoglou bemoaned the number of games and the impact it was having on his players. The line-up for the next match – a 0-0 draw with St Mirren – wasn’t a Celtic XI that will be remembered for a long time. When everyone is fit the Parkhead side are a formidable outfit. But if you remove Josip Juranovic, Davdi Turnbull, Kyogo Furuhashi and Jota there is a serious drop off. Postecoglou needs depth in just about every single position.

Hearts – Clinical edge

The Tynecastle side, at times, have been one of the most profligate sides in the cinch Premiership in front of goal. That was hugely evident in the 2-0 loss to Rangers earlier in the month when Liam Boyce did not take chances that came his way. Reinforcements in the final third with a clinical edge are required for a team that is sitting pretty in third place but with a pack eager to chase.

Motherwell – Contract extension for Watt

New Hibs boss Shaun Maloney. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

A key reason for the Steelmen’s position in the Premiership has been the form of Tony Watt. One of the most fun individuals to watch in the league, he’s in the final months of his contract and reports suggest he won’t be hanging around much longer. If Graham Alexander can muster all his powers of persuasion and deliver a festive surprise it would be a huge boost for Well going into the second half of the season.

Hibs – Centre-back

New Easter Road boss Shaun Maloney will be aware that his squad doesn’t have the required depth for a team wanting to push for third. One area they definitely need an extra body in is centre-back, especially if he opts for the back three played by former boss and mentor Roberto Martinez. Conceding from crosses has been an issue, and if you are unable to deal with crosses in Scotland you are going to create problems for yourself.

Dundee United – The real Jeando Fuchs

The 24-year-old has somewhat gone off the boil recently with United winless in five. At the start of December he gave an interview where he listed the clubs interested in him with his contract expiring at the end of the season. Only a few days later he had a stinker in the loss to Livingston, giving away the penalty which allowed Livi to win the game. Fuchs isn’t the only one at Tannadice who has failed to reach usual standards but perhaps the most noticeable when you take into account just how talented he is.

Aberdeen – Ryan Hedges replacement

Dons boss Stephen Glass is resigned to losing Ryan Hedges with the player unlikely to sign a new deal at Pittodrie with interest from the English Championship. Now the dilemma is whether to cash in on him in January. That would require a replacement or replacements. St Mirren's Jamie McGrath is one player the club have been linked to. As viewed in the recent loss to Hibs, whoever they add needs to bring a bit of swagger to the Aberdeen attack.

Livingston – A new coach?

With Joel Nouble set to return from a productive loan spell at Arbroath, Livi already know their main present. However, they are on the verge of losing another key member of their coaching team with Marvin Bartley reportedly close to being appointed as the Ayr United boss following Dougie Imrie taking over at Greenock Morton. David Martindale will be on the lookout for a new right-hand man, especially with Bartley appearing to have a strong influence in defensive work.

St Mirren – Wide attacker

Only St Johnstone have picked up fewer points over the past ten games. They are a good team, Jim Goodwin has built a robust squad, and they are very competitive and can be a difficult team to play against. But they are far too one dimensional. It is clear they are missing a Dylan Connolly or Ilkay Durmus. A player who can influence the game from wide in the attacking third or allow Goodwin to change from the 3-4-2-1.

Dundee – Peace and quiet

Does James McPake need reinforcements? Yes. Does James McPake need his players to stop getting into off-field incidents? Yes. There is a degree of sympathy for the Dundee boss that he has not been helped by a headache brought in sporadically by individuals within his squad. The Dens Park side have an XI which is more than good enough to push for a top-six place.

Ross County – Defensive reinforcements

Only Dundee have conceded more goals than the Staggies who have kept just four clean sheets. Tightening up at the back would help massively with Malky Mackay’s side the fourth highest scorers. The full-back position could be improved upon or a centre-back to allow Harry Clarke to move out to the right.

St Johnstone – Goals!

Callum Davidson’s side have notched just ten goals in 19 games. An embarrassing return for the double cup winners. The Saints boss hasn’t been helped by injuries, namely to playmaker David Wotherspoon but goals have been an issue under his tenure. They don’t just need another forward option but they also need someone who is going to create for them. Jamie Walker has been linked from Hearts. A signing which would make plenty of sense.

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