8 Scottish Premiership summer signings whose future looks bleak

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During the summer transfer window Ladbrokes Premiership sides made a total of 135 signings. There have been plenty of hits but also a fair share of misses as Joel Sked finds out.

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Rangers' Umar Sadiq may best be remembered for his dive against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson

Rangers' Umar Sadiq may best be remembered for his dive against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson

Chris Forrester - Aberdeen

When the 25-year-old was signed from Peterborough United for £200k on a three-year deal in the summer a former coach made an unusual comparison, saying he was a better attacking option than famed sitting midfielder Michael Carrick.

Forrester was highly-rated within the English Football League and his signing appeared to be quite the coup as Derek McInnes sought to replace Kenny McLean. While Stephen Gleeson would replace the Norwich City midfielder’s qualities as a passing midfielder, Forrester would provide options further up the pitch.

Instead, his influence has been negligible. Aberdeen fans who have seen the player’s 227 minutes on the pitch will find it hard to offer an explanation of his qualities. On his league debut for Rangers he looked overawed and almost scared at the prospect of Scottish football. He’s not been included in a squad since 6 October.

Ryan Edwards appeared for Hearts in pre-season but was sent on loan to St Mirren. Picture: SNS/Ross MacDonald

Ryan Edwards appeared for Hearts in pre-season but was sent on loan to St Mirren. Picture: SNS/Ross MacDonald

Emilio Izaguirre - Celtic

Eyebrows were raised when Celtic re-signed the Honduran during the summer. Izaguirre had only left 12 months previously after seven years at Celtic Park where he won a glut of trophies.

It was a low-risk signing but one which was largely redundant. Kieran Tierney is of course the undisputed first choice at left-back, while there was also Jonny Hayes who had previous experience in the role. And so it has proved so far. Izaguirre has started only one match and rarely been involved in a matchday squad.

Jean Alassane Mendy - Dundee

Dundee’s recruitment is a big reason why Neil McCann left the club and why they are currently sitting bottom of the table. A big issue that needed rectified was a lack of goals. Last campaign their expected goals tally was 52. They scored 36.

Sofien Moussa was a key culprit in front of goal. One player brought in to alleviate such a problem was Mendy. It took only a couple of league games to realise that he was a more mobile and less physical Moussa. In five league appearances he has attempted five shots and not come close to finding the back of the net.

There has been no sign that he is the answer to Dundee’s problems.

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Lennard Sowah - Hamilton Academical

This is Sowah’s second spell at Accies. During his first he made a handful of appearances and while he didn’t greatly impress he didn’t appear to be out of his depth. Yet, it was a surprise when Hearts signed him in January 2017. He did not impress at Tynecastle in an under-performing and disjointed team.

So far he has not been given, or earned, a chance to show that he belongs at Premiership level. The 26-year-old has started just once in the league and is struggling to get onto the bench of the team sitting 10th in the league. Even after the concession of ten goals across two fixtures there was no place in the team for Sowah.

Ryan Edwards - Heart of Midlothian

The Australian’s Hearts career never got off the ground. If anything it went underground. He made a few pre-season appearances but when it came to the competitive football he should have been concerned.

In the build-up to the Cove Rangers game in the Betfred Cup he spoke of making his mark in the attacking midfield role before Steven Naismith returned from suspension. He didn’t leave the bench. Instead young centre midfielder Andy Irving was brought on and he wasn’t even registered.

His signing prompted some questions having just been relegated with Partick Thistle. Yet, you could understand why Craig Levein brought him in. The Hearts boss wanted to bring more energy and depth to the team. However, Hearts continued to add better quality to the team, while injured players like Arnaud Djoum returned. There was simply no place for the 24-year-old.

Currently on loan at St Mirren, it is hard to see space for him in the Hearts squad next season.

Alex Rodriguez Gorrin - Motherwell

“He will give us real options in the middle of the pitch, where we now have a lot of competition for places,” said Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson on signing the Spaniard. “He can break up the play, take ownership of the ball and has a good range of passing.”

Fans of the Steelmen are simply unsure if that is the case. They have had precisely 164 minutes, only 13 of which were in Premiership, to judge him.

Robinson was keen to bring the player to the club, saying that they had “been working to get Alex for a while” which only adds to the mystery. The team have had their issues this season, namely in defence, but also the general balance. The player may not be the answer but it is telling that he’s not even been tried out.

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Umar Sadiq - Rangers

The lasting memories of Umar Sadiq won’t be positive at Ibrox. It seemed that Steven Gerrard saying the player had to improve “everything” if he wanted to face Aberdeen in the Betfred Cup semi-final would be the only memory. However, he was given his chance against the Dons at Hampden Park and he managed to overshadow it with a laughable dive.

Sadiq rounded Aberdeen’s Joe Lewis and with the goal at his mercy felt it necessary to brush his foot against the Dons goalkeeper and flop to the ground. Until that point it was a largely ineffectual afternoon for the Nigerian, missing a decent chance with a header.

The 21-year-old has not been seen since with speculation that his loan deal from Roma will be cut short as Rangers look for a new striker.

Cole Kpekawa - St Mirren

Cody Cooke (Truro City), Josh Heaton (Darlington), Jim Kellerman (Aldershot Town), Jeff King (Bolton Wanderers), Cole Kpekawa (Colchester United), Paul McGinn (Partick Thistle), Nicolai Brock-Madsen (Birmingham City, loan), Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough, loan), Ryan Edwards (Heart of Midlothian, loan), Lee Hodson (Rangers, loan), Alfie Jones (Southampton, loan), Danny Rogers (Aberdeen, loan), Matty Willock (Manchester United, loan).

St Mirren’s summer signings - courtesy of Narey’s Toepoker. It doesn’t make for pleasant reading and three have already departed.

Defender Kpekawa has really struggled with the intensity and physicality of the Scottish game. He has rarely been assured and often looked rushed. That was seen in a 2-0 defeat to Livingston where the player was subbed after 50 minutes. Surprisingly he started the following week against Hearts as the Buddies fell to a 4-1 defeat and was duly given the run around by Uche Ikpeazu. He’s not been seen since.

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