Who has been the best signing in the cinch Premiership - 11 contenders analysed including Celtic & Hearts duos and Rangers star

There were 109 signings made by the 12 cinch Premiership teams this summer, whether that was big money moves, loans made permanent or snapping players up on pre-contracts.

Kyogo Furuhashi and Jota have been excellent signings by Celtic. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

As always in Scotland – and anywhere in the world for that matter – there has been a real mixed bag. Some have made an instant impact, for others it has been more gradual and there are several who would feature under the ‘must do better’ category.

But which signings have been the best?

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Kyogo Furuhashi – Celtic

Dundee United's Charlie Mulgrew. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

No one has made more of a bombastic start to life in Scotland this campaign than the Japanese forward. Ange Postecoglou knew what he was getting in his marquee signing but most fans won’t have imagined him being this good.

The 26-year-old has scored four goals in the league, has the second best goals per 90 minutes ratio and played with a real verve. So dangerous running off the shoulder of defenders with his pace and movement but can be just as dangerous playing from a wide position. Celtic fans feed off his enthusiasm.

Jota – Celtic

Even if Kyogo’s influence hasn’t been as strong in recent weeks, Jota has stepped up. Already the Celtic support must be thinking ‘make the loan permanent pronto!’.

Cammy Devlin has formed a great partnership with Beni Baningime in the Hearts midfield. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)

Arguably the most exciting player in the league. Great in one v one situations, really quick, will look to burst in behind but equally adept at combining with Anthony Ralston or infield with the midfield. Features in the top five for shots, crosses, dribbles and touches in the opposition box per 90 minutes.

Ryan Sweeney – Dundee

A key part of Dundee’s promotion last season was the centre-back partnership of Lee Ashcroft and Liam Fontaine. It’s not often over the years the Dens Park side have had a steady defence. Moving up to the Premiership called for further reinforcements. James McPake has signed well in Sweeney who penned a two-year deal.

Fontaine, now 35-year-old, has made way for the new recruit who has proved his worth, adapting well to Scottish football. He does all the gritty stuff well, especially in the air. With a 71.15 per cent success rate, he is fifth in the league for aerial duels. He's top ten for shots blocked, defensive duels and defensive duels success rate. A proper stopper.

Charlie Mulgrew - Dundee United

There was a time, early in his career, when you couldn't imagine Mulgrew would go on to have the career he has had, notably the Davide Grassi years. However, the 35-year-old has rarely looked better and more assured. You look at Dundee United’s defensive record and that comes from the platform given to them by the partnership of Mulgrew and Ryan Edwards, an upgrade on last season’s Mark Connolly and Mark Reynolds partnership.

He has brought experience, composure and a confidence to the United backline with and without the ball. There will be few better tackles this season than one he made on Cillian Sheridan in the Dundee derby.

Cammy Devlin / Beni Baningime – Hearts

"The midfield two have got to control the game," Hearts boss told the Evening News back in July regarding the 3-4-3 system. “Take it, move it, be positive with the game.” That was before Devlin and Baningime were paired together. As a pairing they have had a transformational impact.

The formation is a demanding one on the central midfielders but the duo are cover plenty of ground – against Rangers they ran nearly 25km combined – they win the ball back and when they have it they help Hearts control and direct the game. Already both are fan favourites.

Jake Doyle-Hayes – Hibs

As soon as Hibs announced the signing of the midfielder following the expiry of his St Mirren deal you knew the Easter Road club had made a very, very shrewd move. It took no time at all for him to impress in his debut against Santa Coloma and his influence was noticeable off the bench in the opening day win over Motherwell.

The 22-year-old has a varied skill set and can play different roles in different formations. He may have went off the boil in recent weeks but looking longer term he will be a key player for Hibs and Jack Ross.

Juhani Ojala – Motherwell

The Finish international was, on paper, quite the coup for the Steelmen when he signed and that has transferred on to the pitch. No fuss, no messing about, he defends. Ideal for a centre-back. Ojala is already a strong part of the spine of Graham Alexander's side.

He's not too dissimilar to the aforementioned Ryan Sweeney in that he is an out and out stopper, featuring in the top for shots blocked and interceptions, and the top ten for aerial and defensive duel success rate. He's one of those players you need in Scottish Premiership side.

John Lundstram – Rangers

The 27-year-old had long been linked with a switch to Ibrox from the Premier League and there was an anticipation about his signing. Then, however, he didn’t start in the manner many expected from someone who had made nearly 140 appearances in the top two tiers of England.

But Lundstram's time at Rangers has been about gradual improvement. Goal aside, you saw his influence in the draw with Hearts with the team playing arguably the best they have this season. His performance earned praise from boss Steven Gerrard who called him the “go-to man” and noted his "consistency levels”.

Ali Crawford – St Johnstone

The 30-year-old was a shrewd pick-up by the Saints, especially as they went on to lose Ali McCann. It may not have been easy to directly replace the Northern Ireland international but Crawford and Cammy MacPherson were good additions to the squad with Premiership experience.

Crawford's influence could be seen in the loss to Livingston at the weekend. The midfielder was out injured while St Johnstone didn't help themselves by conceding goals so cheap they could only be located in a bargain basement bin near a till. He was influential in two wins over rivals Dundee this season before injuring his groin just as he was “getting better and better” according to Saints boss Callum Davidson.

Connor Ronan – St Mirren

At he start of the season the Buddies were too predictable and arguably too one-dimensional. Two hard-working strikers, a hard-working midfield, wing-backs who were formerly full-backs and Jamie McGrath providing the X-factor. The addition of Ronan on loan from Wolves has allowed Jim Goodwin to tweak the system.

The 23-year-old has taken the responsibility to create off McGrath. He scored twice against Aberdeen in a 3-2 win and is a threat on the counter-attack with his pace and positive play. Twice on Saturday against Ross County he did well to create openings for Eamonn Brophy. St Mirren are unbeaten when he has played.

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