Given the number of youngsters performing for Scotland’s top flight clubs this season, whittling it down was a tough ask. Here, we look at ten of the Scottish Premiership’s most exciting talents...
Aberdeen - Scott McKenna
The Kirriemuir boy has burst onto the Aberdeen scene this season after spells on loan at Ayr United and Alloa Athletic. Cutting his teeth in the lower leagues has clearly had a positive effect as the 6ft 2in 21-year-old has slotted into the Dons defence with ease. Scored his first goal in the 1-0 win over Dundee in December and his performances have already prompted a bid from Hull City, which was knocked back by the Pittodrie club.
Celtic - Mikey Johnston
The 18-year-old wideman may have only made a handful of appearances in the Scottish Premiership, but he’s already notched one assist. His five goals and two assists in just 12 UEFA Youth League games for Celtic Under-19s offers an exciting glimpse of what Johnston is capable of and demonstrates why Brendan Rodgers has fast-tracked him into the first team.
Dundee - Kerr Waddell
Already something of a regular in the Dark Blues defence, Kerr Waddell - along with defensive colleague Jack Hendry - has kept experienced heads like Darren O’Dea and Josh Meekings out of the team at times. While it may be Hendry receiving most of the attention for his performances, it would be no surprise to see Waddell following suit in the not too distant future.
Hamilton - Lewis Ferguson
The son of Derek Ferguson and nephew of former Scotland and Rangers captain Barry, Lewis Ferguson is knocking on the door of the Accies first team. A powerful central midfielder (sound familiar?), he has recently broken into the Scotland Under-19 side and looks set to follow in the footsteps of James McArthur and James McCarthy - and could be reason for Hamilton fans to retain a bit of optimism even if they do lose Greg Docherty this window.
Hearts - Anthony McDonald
It was all about Harry Cochrane in yesterday’s Scottish Cup derby, the young midfielder head and shoulders above anyone else in the engine room. But the versatile Anthony McDonald, who orchestrated a 2-0 win over Dundee on his debut for Hearts, is very much one to watch as well. Primarily a right midfielder, he can also operate in attacking midfield or just behind the striker.
Hibs - Ryan Porteous
Ryan Porteous got a run of games in the Betfred Cup during the summer and while it’s Oli Shaw who’s been getting the most plaudits for his goalscoring exploits since breaking into the first team, Porteous remains a solid defender and a goal threat from set pieces. Loves getting forward and doesn’t take any prisoners, and many pundits and fans have tipped him for greatness.
Kilmarnock - Eamonn Brophy
The striker caught the eye while at Hamilton but has since blossomed following his move to Kilmarnock. Having the experienced Kris Boyd as a strike partner and mentor has clearly rubbed off on Brophy who has notched four goals and two assists in 606 minutes of Scottish Premiership action.
Motherwell - Allan Campbell
Still only 19, Motherwell midfielder Allan Campbell has come on in leaps and bounds under the tutelage of Stephen Robinson, his performances for the Steelmen leading to his inclusion in the Scotland Under-19 squad. Supremely talented, combative and powerful, the young Scot has done well to hold down a regular starting berth ahead of more experienced players.
Rangers - Ross McCrorie
Hailed by then Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha when he gave him his first team debut, Ross McCrorie has gone onto become a key player under Graeme Murty. Converted from a centre half to a sitting midfielder, his defensive abilities help protect the Rangers back four as well as adding steel in midfield. His versatility will stand him in good stead for club and country as his career progresses.
St Johnstone - Aaron Comrie
The former Celtic kid broke into the St Johnstone team earlier this season after loan spells at Montrose and Peterhead. He appeared in the McDiarmid Park side’s pre-season friendlies before injuries and suspensions handed him a chance in the first team. It speaks volumes for his talent and ability that the experienced Richard Foster was only able to dislodge him when the youngster suffered an injury in late November.