After my article about Declan Gallagher, I felt that I should write about the one defensive prospect, indeed one of the few players I would actually spend money on in this window.
I realise that Benkovic is about to sign, but this is who I’d have gone for instead, and it reverses what I said about not spending money in this window. In hindsight, there are certain circumstances in which that might be a good idea.
This player is one of those I’d make an exception for, and especially in light of the the first article today, which was on how Brexit will ultimately affect our transfer policy going forward.
Not only do I think that any future manager would want him, but I don’t think we can afford to wat until the summer when the transfer restrictions on UK clubs will force teams in England to look ever more closely at Scotland for signings.
The player is Ryan Porteous at Hibs, a footballer who is growing in stature and who will only get better. We can get him now, we can get him whilst he’s young and we can mould him into one of the best centre backs in the UK.
He’s headed that way anyway.
As I wrote earlier today, we are more and more going to have to shop in the UK market and more and more we’re going to come to depend on Scottish players.
I have always said our team should be built around a core of them anyway, and Porteous is the best of the rest.
If we buy him now we’ll get him much more cheaply than he’d cost three years down the line.
Porteous would be an investment, and a damned good one.
He is the kind of footballer who would fit into our team with ease; he could play in it right now.
Any future manager who came in, with a full understanding of the new signing restrictions, would recognise from the outset why we had to do this now, and why the outlay was worth it.
He is eight years younger than Declan Gallagher. He is only 21.
He has his career in front of him and he has never done time in prison.
He is a great prospect.
For these reasons, he would certainly not be cheap.
It would mean Lawwell having to deal with people at a club with whom our recent relationships are not great, thanks in no small part to him.
But these are simply realities we would have to face up to.
Porteous is exactly the sort of player we want, and the sort of player that we need. We could go for cheap options and temporary options and take our chances, or we could think long-term for once.
This is one of the best decisions we could take as a club right now.
This is the one deal that is worth doing in this window, the one worth spending money on.
Maybe this time we’ll learn about doing things easy and on the cheap.
Maybe we’ll get this one right.