Callum Davidson ready to explore free agents market after injury to new signing leaves St Johnstone with midfield crisis ahead of Rangers clash

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson could try to reinforce his squad by signing a free agent amid an escalating midfield injury crisis at the double domestic cup winners.

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has selection issues to face ahead of his team's Premiership meeting with Rangers at McDiarmid Park on Saturday. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

After a dramatic transfer deadline day which saw him lose captain Jason Kerr and key midfielder Ali McCann to Wigan and Preston respectively, Davidson looked on in horror on Monday when Cammy MacPherson, one of his new recruits, suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder in a friendly against Brechin City.

MacPherson was signed on a season-long loan from St Mirren to try and compensate for McCann’s departure but has now joined fellow midfielders Murray Davidson and Craig Bryson on the injured list ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime Premiership clash with champions Rangers at McDiarmid Park.

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With David Wotherspoon not due back in Scotland until Friday night after international duty with Canada, inexperienced midfield duo Charlie Gilmour (22) and Cammy Ballantyne (21) are both in Davidson’s thoughts.

But he has not ruled out the prospect of making a late addition to his squad by moving for an unattached player eligible to join a new club outwith the transfer window.

“I have not signed any free agents yet but I wouldn’t say no,” said Davidson. “Sometimes there are situations why they are free agents. They have maybe fallen out with their club or the manager and they get released just at the end of the window.

“There are good players there, I know that because I’ve looked, but it’s just about whether we can afford them - that’s a different story.

“I think that’s probably the big one, sometimes a free agent is waiting to try to get a new deal. So for us, we’d have to make sure he’s the right fit to come in here and help us.

“But it’s something we are looking at just now and if we think it’s needed, then hopefully we can get something done.

“Cammy MacPherson popped his shoulder after two minutes of the game on Monday night. He’s been scanned so we should know the results of that soon.

“He went in for a tackle and when he was lying on the floor I thought ‘oh, please no’ because he could be an important player for us.

“When we have Craig Bryson injured as well he would have been the player in there, so to lose both of them is a huge blow with Murray Davidson being a doubt as well.

“But it gives an opportunity to other players and it will be up to them to step up to the mark now.

“There are a couple of places available now and it will be interesting to see who steps up to play.”

Former Arsenal and Norwich City youngster Gilmour has made just four appearances since joining Saints in February, while Ballantyne made his debut as a sub in the League Cup tie at Arbroath in August after spending the last two seasons on loan at Montrose.

“They are champing at the bit to get a game,” added Davidson. “They have to step up, it’s a big point in their careers because when they do get a chance they have to take it.

“If you don’t take it then you’ll regret it. So I don’t see why they can’t come in and prove themselves.”

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