Deadline Day: The best (and worst) last-minute signings

The artificial drama of Transfer Deadline Day has led to the arbitrary end of the time in which players can be bought and sold becoming a bit of a self-parody.

Leigh Griffiths. Picture: SNS

But it can still be an important time for clubs, especially those who haven’t had a good start to the season.

While some of the best players to grace Scottish football have been signed at the tail end of the transfer windows, there are always accusations that a club is panicking when they splash out.

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Here are some of the best signings that have been made by clubs ‘before the window slammed shut’ - and a few dishonourable mentions for some of the worst deadline day signings.

Rangers' Haris Vuckic was the only Newcastle loan signing to have made an impact. Picture: TSPL

Starting with some of the best.

Leigh Griffiths (Wolves to Celtic)

When Leigh Griffiths first signed for Celtic on deadline day in January of 2014, there was consternation among some sections of the support about the lengthy off-field problems that had dogged him in the Black Country and on his loan spell at Hibs.

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Rayo Vallecano's ex-Celtic forward Miku, right, celebrates his goal against Real Madrid. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

The numbers spoke for themselves, however, and Griffiths has only improved on the near goal every two games that he scored in his time becoming a cult hero at Easter Road.

Jackson Irvine (Celtic to Ross County)

Despite his name, and to the consternation of members of the Tartan Army, Jackson Irvine is not Scottish, but an Australian international who became a mainstay in Dingwall following his move from Celtic in 2014.

His consistent performances helped secure Ross County’s Premier League status for two seasons, before he moved to Burton Albion in the English Championship. He has since moved again for a record fee from Burton to Hull City.

Rangers' Haris Vuckic was the only Newcastle loan signing to have made an impact. Picture: TSPL

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United to Celtic)

The double signing of Armstrong and his colleague Gary Mackay-Steven was seen as Scotland’s top club taking a chance on two of Scotland’s best young talents.

While Mackay-Steven found first team options limited and has since moved to Aberdeen, Armstrong has developed under Brendan Rodgers to become one of the most composed midfielders in the Scottish Premiership, more than justifying his £1.6m price tag.

Michael Gardyne (Dundee United to Ross County)

Rayo Vallecano's ex-Celtic forward Miku, right, celebrates his goal against Real Madrid. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Michael Gardyne has actually officially signed for the Staggies four times, twice on loan and twice permanently, the most recent time after he ended a frustrating spell at Dundee United.

He has since gone on to become the club’s all-time record goalscorer, and holds the record for most appearances, endearing himself to generations of fans in the process.

Barry Ferguson (Blackburn to Rangers)

Michael Gardyne isn’t the only returning hero on this list - after a decent showing at the top level of English football, Rangers splashed out nearly £5m to bring back Ferguson to Ibrox.

He led the club to another host of silverware in his second spell, and was captain throughout the entirety of their 2007/8 UEFA Cup run.

And some of the worst...

Colin Kazim-Richards (Feyenoord to Celtic)

Signed just 18 months ago, Kazim-Richards should still have half a year left on his contract at Parkhead - while the terms of his two year contract were never disclosed, having played for some huge clubs, it is safe to assume he won’t have come cheap.

He was a flop for Celtic despite his impressive pedigree, and scored just a single goal, a tap-in against minnows East Kilbride.

Philippe Senderos (Grasshoppers to Rangers)

Few players, even including some of the bizarre signings Rangers made in their wilderness years out of the top leagues, have had such a big (negative) impact in such a short space of time.

Signed amid much fanfare at the end of last year’s August transfer window, Senderos was sent off in his debut, a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Celtic, and left the club after playing just three games.

Miku (Getafe to Celtic)

Since the end of the legendary reign of Henrik Larsson, Celtic have struggled to find a suitable replacement to wear the Swede’s famous number 7 jersey.

One of those was Miku, who arrived from Getafe on loan but had an indifferent spell, later admitting that making the move to Glasgow was a mistake.

The “Toon Five” (Newcastle to Rangers)

Cheating a bit here with a five-in-one special, as one of the lowest points in Rangers protracted dalliance with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley saw them take half an outfield team’s worth of players from the Tyneside club in one go.

Harris Vuckic acquitted himself quite well, unsurprising given his pedigree - but some of the other players who signed weren’t even fit enough to play for Rangers, despite the club paying their wages.