Five Scottish Premiership signings who'll make a real difference
Olivier Ntcham (Celtic)
It’s easy to see why Celtic spent around £5 million to sign the young midfielder from Manchester City. Built like a centre-back with the feathery touch of a playmaker and acceleration of a winger, Ntcham has immense potential and Brendan Rodgers will be looking for the 21-year-old to make a similar impact in his debut season as Moussa Dembele did in the last campaign. His addition also provides a contingency plan should Stuart Armstrong fail to sign a new deal.
Scott Allan (Dundee)
The Dens Park club badly lacked variety in their attacking arsenal last season, especially in the middle of the park where undersized, workmanlike centre-midfielders bloated the squad. The signing of Allan on a season-long loan from Celtic provides the team with some genuine creativity and guile, and should complement some of their other summer additions. Having failed to make the grade at both Celtic and Rotherham, the 25-year-old arrives at Dundee with a point to prove.
Christophe Berra (Hearts)
Regardless of how Hearts’ fortunes go this season – whether things will finally click for Ian Cathro or whether they will be on the look out for another head coach – at least this signing provides the club with stability at the heart of the defence for the next three years. Still a mainstay of the Scotland squad, it was quite a coup for Hearts to convince their ex-captain to return to the club for a second spell following impressive spells with both Wolves and Ipswich Town south of the Border.
Bruno Alves (Rangers)
Despite last season’s ageing centre-back recruit Clint Hill performing above expectations, the Rangers defence was still a mess for the majority of the 2016/17 season. Requiring reconstructive surgery this summer, a new centre-back pairing was recruited, led by the 93 times capped Portuguese international. Alves will be expected to knit together a porous backline and provide the Ibrox club as a whole with some leadership and veteran experience.
Greg Stewart (Aberdeen)
The former Dundee star returns to Scottish football, following a frustrating 12 months at Birmingham City, tasked with helping to fill the void left by Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn’s departures. Stewart registered double digits in both goals and assists in each of his two seasons with Dundee, and Aberdeen fans are already thrilled by his arrival on a season-long loan after he netted a key goal away to Siroki Brijeg which helped the Dons advance in the Europa League.