As Scottish Premiership clubs enter the January transfer window, Craig Fowler looks back upon their business so far this season and ranks every signing out of ten.
David Crawford - 5
Partick Thistle have used four different goalkeepers thanks to a fruitless search for a reliable back-up to the somewhat injury-prone Tomas Cerny. Lower league journeyman Crawford was an emergency addition brought in to help alleviate the crisis in the summer. He played a handful of games, was relegated to the reserves when other stoppers were fit again, and was released when his short-term deal expired. No muss, no fuss.
Thorsten Stuckmann - 4
Just like Crawford, the 35-year-old German was brought in as emergency cover. He played a bit more than his Scottish predecessor, six league games in total, and loses a point because he was tasked with more important fixtures (Crawford only played League Cup group games) and never looked all that reassuring.
Ziggy Gordon - 5
Gordon had a terrible start to his Thistle career after signing a one-year deal from Hamilton. Given his performances in Lanarkshire in recent seasons, it was a bizarre dip in form. He’s been looking back to his best recently with some solid displays, though he could be set to lose his place in the side with Firhill favourite Mustapha Dumbuya due back from injury this month.
Daniel Devine - 6
Lured from Inverness, Devine looked incredibly shaky at the beginning of the season as Thistle really lacked a leader at the back. He and partner Liam Lindsay were a little too inexperienced to play together, especially without Cerny behind the pair for the most part. Since Barton arrived, though, he’s gone from strength to strength and was excellent throughout the month of December. If he can keep up this form, it’ll be an 8 or a 9 come the end of the season.
Adam Barton - 9
Thistle made a splash by spending actual money to bring the 25-year-old north of the border. Ok, it was only a fee of around £50k from Portsmouth, but it’s still very rare to see a Scottish side, especially one outwith the top six, do anything other than sign free agents. And so far it’s proved to be an inspiring bit of business as the signing has completely reinvigorated Thistle’s season. Whether at centre-back or at the base of midfield, Barton brings such a composure and poise on the football which fits in perfectly with Thistle’s preferred style. His versatility enables manager Alan Archibald the ability to go between 3-5-2, 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 diamond formations, which enables them to adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents on the fly. Thistle were bottom before Barton’s run in the team. They’re now seventh, one point off the top six.
Chris Erskine - 7
Seven is perhaps a little harsh as he had a really great start to the season. Unfortunately, it was at a time when the rest of the side struggled, so his input ended up being in vain. Thistle’s upturn coincided with his time out injured and he’s been a little inconsistent since his return. Still, on his day he’s a match-winner, capable of scoring and creating as he creates havoc with his unorthodox style around the final third.
Ade Azeez - 6
This would have been higher if he had any sort of composure in front of goal. Azeez must have had more one-on-ones with the opposition goalkeeper than any other player in the Ladbrokes Premiership, and yet his only goal was a header against Dundee. Despite his struggles finding the back of the net, he’s been a useful addition. His pace and strength mean he’s a duel threat at holding up the ball and running in behind, while he’s quite an impact player coming off the bench.
David Syme - n/a
The teenager was signed from Killie and has only had a couple of run-outs in the League Cup.