With January now in everyone’s thoughts, although it seems to me that the last transfer window hasn’t long shut, there is a lot of debate about where we need to strengthen; I’ll be doing a piece on that later on. But for now, let’s focus on another question.
If Ange is going with his own knowledge, is there any player he’ll have watched in Scotland or who he might yet watch who is interesting enough to sign for us?
The early answer is no, except if he thinks that Lewis Ferguson of Aberdeen has something a bit special, and I think we all recognise that he’s one of the best options there is in the league. Nobody else truly stands out, or has stood out.
In terms of who we’ve come up against so far – and there are big games to come soon – there is not one obvious major talent, no John McGinn or Turnbull or Christie or Armstrong who just stands out a mile as being head and shoulders better than the rest.
Even accounting for the need for fresh talent in some areas of the pitch, we’ve not come across any obvious standout talent from Scotland so far. I laugh at talk about how we should have kept Gordon and Jonny Hayes. This isn’t quite what I mean.
Of course, we have Hibs to come and their side does have some talent in it. Porteous might have blotted his copybook with some as a result of another red card at the hands of a Friend of the Peepul, but I still like him and I’d take him. I’d take Doig. I am less sure than I was about Nisbet although he’s clearly a good player. Maybe just not good enough.
Motherwell look less than what they were, as do St Johnstone. Are there talents as these clubs who we would want? The double winners sold a couple of their best players in the last window and Motherwell’s midfield no longer includes Campbell.
It’s quite depressing looking at Scottish football right now, in terms of how our home grown players look. There are definitely stars in the making, it would be a weird situation if there weren’t, but all but the handful we already knew about, none have high visibility yet. Frankly, I’m more excited by some of the talents in our own youth academy.
With the lack of obvious first team capable footballers in Scotland, it’s no wonder that Ange wants to look at the market he knows best; the one in Japan. He will have his targets in mind. I wouldn’t be surprised if we sign a few players from that neck of the woods.