The new Scottish Premiership season is under way with fresh hopes and high expectations from fans of all 12 clubs.
It has been a busy transfer window with almost 100 new signings across the top flight, with many new additions impressing from the outset, including the likes of Bojan Miovski, Glenn Middleton and Lawrence Shankland.
Martin Boyle can also count himself in that category of having an instant impact after scoring a dramatic equaliser on his return to Hibs in the Edinburgh derby, while Jota is setting the pitch alight after making his move to Celtic permanent, and Antonio Colak has wasted no time in getting off the mark at Rangers.
However, business still needs to be done before the transfer deadline on September 1, so where does your club need to strengthen?
Well, we have asked supporters from every Scottish Premiership club and here’s what they said…
Ryan Crombie – A Red Point of View
It is no surprise Jim Goodwin has rung the changes with 11 new signings so far and they already look like a much better unit. He has spent over £1m, a small statement of intent from the Dons on where they want to be finishing come the end of the season.
New captain Anthony Stewart looks like he could be the answer to the defensive woes of last season. Strong in the air, commanding at the back, he’s everything you want your centre-half leader to be. Wycombe fans seemed pretty distraught to see him go, which is always a good sign.
Striker Bojan Miovski has hit the ground running, scoring on his debut and bagging a double against St Mirren. It will be interesting to see how the situation develops with Christian Ramirez also in the squad, but no one is complaining about having two natural goalscorers.
New full-backs Jayden Richardson and Hayden Coulson look like they could add some much-needed pace in transition, while Liam Scales, albeit a loan from Celtic, has started the season tremendously.
There is lots for Aberdeen fans to be positive about. I know we have a better team than last season.
Some more cover at the back would be beneficial, while another attacking midfielder looks to be on Goodwin’s radar with Callum Roberts now sidelined with a hamstring injury until October.
Hamish Carton – 67 Hail Hail
The Celtic squad is undoubtedly stronger than it was on trophy day.
Signing Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota on permanent deals, as well as a left-back, were the priorities of the summer and all were secured within three weeks of the window opening.
Benjamin Siegrist looks like an upgrade on Scott Bain, Moritz Jenz will offer more than Christopher Jullien did last season and Aaron Mooy seems like a pretty good replacement for Nir Bitton. Tom Rogic will be a loss but Matt O’Riley seems ready to step into his place.
The need for a more robust central midfielder is obvious with the Champions League in mind and the failure to land Vinicius Souza is the most disappointing aspect of the window.
Signing a player with a profile similar to Souza as well as a versatile attacker would be a real statement of intent.
The club have also done good work in moving out some players not fancied by Ange Postecoglou. If we can move on Albian Ajeti and Christopher Jullien and bring in a couple more, it would cap off a pretty ideal window.
Ronny Costello – The Dode Fox Podcast
I am really happy with Jack Ross’ transfer business so far.
We have made some quality and experienced additions to the side in goalkeeper Mark Birighitti, left-back Aziz Behich, and midfielder Dylan Levitt.
Landing Jamie McGrath on loan from Wigan is a huge coup and he showed his worth in his first match, setting up our goal against AZ Alkmaar at Tannadice Park.
Winger Glenn Middleton and former Scotland international striker Steven Fletcher have also added to the experience in the side as Ross looks to build on Thomas Courts’ success with United last season.
The team is still, however, needing a bit of dig in midfield and I’d like to see a defensive midfielder come in, maybe one that could double up as cover at centre-half, but it’s looking like the manager won’t play with one.
A pacey striker to get in behind would also be good.
Scott Wilson – season ticket holder
This summer has been quite settled at Tynecastle which is a really positive position to find ourselves in.
So much good business was done in January – referring mainly to the extensions in place for Craig Halkett, Stephen Kingsley, Barrie McKay and Michael Smith. They all played a key role in last season’s third-place finish and Scottish Cup final run, and provide a great foundation upon which we’ve built. On the theme of continuity, Alex Cochrane was another mainstay last season and making his deal permanent looks a shrewd piece of business.
As good as dealing Cochrane for three years was, Lawrence Shankland has been the headline grabber in terms of incoming additions. He was prolific for Ayr and did well for manager Robbie Neilson before with Dundee United. The manner in which he took his goal at Easter Road suggests he’s the out-and-out number nine we’ve craved. There ought to be a lot of optimism about the goals he could notch in maroon. At initial glance, Jorge Grant and Alan Forrest look good additions and young Lewis Neilson fits the mould of someone we could nurture into a future starter.
In terms of what is to come, I’d like to see another wide player come in. A little more pace would be welcomed in most teams, and we are no different.
I’d also expect to see another defender coming in. With our preference for a back three with wing-backs, depth is something that needs to be considered given the demands of European group stage football. That said, it’s a good squad currently so any further that come in the building will stand us in good stead to continue edging further forward.
Valerie Chapman – season-ticket holder
After the disappointment of last season, new manager Lee Johnson moved quickly and added 11 players so far, including Euan Henderson and Ricky Bushiri joining permanently after impressing on loan.
Having David Marshall as our captain and in goal this season is a real coup as we look to return to the top half of the Scottish Premiership.
Aiden McGeady looked good in pre-season, so losing him through injury already is a blow but I’m looking forward to seeing how he fits into the team when he returns to action.
In Elie Youan and Jair Tavares we have some much-needed pace in the team. With two assists already in the league Youan looks to be a promising addition, albeit on a season-long loan from St Gallen.
The one all Hibs fans wanted back was Martin Boyle, and we have him. The way he lifted the team and secured the late equaliser against Hearts in the Edinburgh derby showed just what a vital player he is for us.
I believe we have a hungry and well-rounded squad, but we are just short on some positions. Before the transfer window closes I would like to see a new attacking midfielder brought in along with a centre-forward.
Laurie Finlayson – season-ticket holder
So far this summer, Killie have brought in 10 new additions, plus goalkeeper Zach Hemming has returned on loan from Middlesbrough for a second season.
He is currently injured and isn’t expected to return until next month, but I am not too concerned about the goalkeeping situation as Sam Walker is proving to be a capable replacement and Derek McInnes has also brought in former Aberdeen shot-stopper Gary Woods.
On the whole, I’ve been quite pleased with our recruitment as we seem to have struck a good balance of both experience and youth, with proven Scottish Premiership players such as Alan Power and Jordan Jones returning to the club and Liam Donnelly arriving from Motherwell who, I think, will be a solid acquisition.
I am particularly excited about the signing of Irish attacker Deji Sotona from Ligue 1 side Nice. He appears to be the type of player who will get the fans off their seats and wreak havoc for opposing defences.
Despite the signing of Ryan Alebiosu, we remain quite weak at full-back, especially on the left-hand side as Calum Waters is the only natural left-back at the club.
Calum Brown – LFC Live commentator & Talk Livi Podcast
The theme for Livingston this window so far has been continuity. Aside from the departures of Alan Forrest and loanee Odin Bailey, Livingston have managed to keep the majority of their key players from last season.
The main addition has been in goal, with a fee – a real rarity for Livingston – paid for goalkeeper Shamal George who was League Two side Colchester United’s player of the year last season. The stopper brings an assuring presence at the back and has already endeared himself to fans with a number of good stops in his opening two matches.
Dylan Bahamboula has added plenty of flair in the attacking area of the pitch, while Isma Goncalves brings that unpredictability which has already seen him score a worldy in pre-season, but also receive a red card in the Premier Sports Cup for a kick out.
Jamie Brandon adds energy and Premiership experience to the backline, and centre-back Phillip Cancar makes the move from Australia, with the young defender already impressing with a goal in the cup – he looks like one for the future, and is a relatively unknown quantity alongside Scott Bitsindou who joins from the second tier in Belgium.
Overall, it’s been a solid window from David Martindale who has strengthened in areas while adding depth in others. But Livingston are still maybe one short in the attacking areas – particularly out wide and need someone to replace the goals and threat of Forrest and the trickery of Bailey in the final third.
Derek Watson – Director, The Well Society
It has been a dramatic start to the season – losing in the Europa League qualifiers to Sligo Rovers wasn’t exactly in the script and with Graham Alexander departing soon after, it meant someone had to step up to the plate while the board started the process of recruiting a new manager.
Club legend Stevie Hammell opened the domestic campaign with an away win at St Mirren and it was exactly what the fans needed to reinstall some hope and earned him the job on a permanent basis.
The change of shape and his refreshing approach seems to have brought a new lease of life to some of the players. Recent addition Blair Spittal scoring his first goal in claret and amber was extremely positive, and the other two on the scoresheet, Kevin van Veen and Callum Slattery, are both players that we need to find consistency should we want to have a positive season.
It’s vital we hang on to Liam Kelly, I believe he is alongside Craig Gordon as the best ‘keeper in the country and his impressive performances last season were one of the reasons we ended the season in a European slot. He’s an asset to the club and I won’t be surprised if others come knocking on the door.
I would like to see us add some more pace and creativity to the team, especially on the wings, and with both Nathan McGinley and Jake Carroll ruled out for long spells we could be doing with a natural left-sided full-back.
I’m excited about Hammell giving youth a chance, it’s an approach that has worked well over the years for Motherwell, but adding an experienced pro to be a positive influence around the dressing room could also be a good move.
Andrew Dickson – journalist and Rangers programme contributor
A summer of expected upheaval in the Rangers squad has been less traumatic for Ibrox fans than anticipated, with the losses of Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey representing good business and offset by seven new arrivals at the time of writing. While other fringe players including Leon Balogun and Cedric Itten have also moved on, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s pool is still bloated and, if anything, in need of further trimming.
Having spent not far off £10m on defensive pair Ben Davies and Ridvan Yilmaz, they are likely starters in the long run, though where John Souttar fits in after signing a pre-contract in January – then seeing the man it was thought he might replace, Connor Goldson, agree a new four-year contract several months later – is less clear. It’s hard not to have sympathy for the Scotland international and feel the goalposts might have moved for him there.
Tom Lawrence gives Rangers muscle and shooting prowess from midfield they’ve not always had and Rabbi Matondo’s pace should see him do well domestically at least, albeit his slight frame might limit his impact at times too. Although he doesn’t seem to do much else, Antonio Colak has already shown he can score goals. Conversely, Malik Tillman appears to be capable of a bit of everything and you would imagine the club’s exclusive option to turn his loan from Bayern Munich into a permanent deal will be taken up in due course.
Van Bronckhorst has already said his recruitment is over but I’d be surprised if progression into the Champions League was secured and there wasn’t at least one more new face, possibly in the engine room. Either way, it appears as though this has been a more encouraging window for the blue half of Glasgow than many thought it would be.
Ross Morren – The County Corner
There has been more focus on recruiting players on permanent deals this summer, rather than a mass influx of loan players, which shows the change in recruitment strategy.
Wingers Owura Edwards and Kazeem Olaigbe have been signed on loan from Bristol City and Southampton respectively, while goalkeeper Jake Eastwood has joined County on loan from Sheffield United.
Owura started the opening Scottish Premiership match against Hearts and caused the Edinburgh side all sorts of problems with his pace, direct running and skill. Olaigbe impressed County fans with his performances during the League Cup campaign and his cameo appearances in the league so far.
Full-backs Callum Johnson, Ben Purrington and George Harmon have all been signed on two-year deals as Malky Mackay looks to add strength and depth to County’s defensive options.
Replacing the goals of Regan Charles Cook, Joseph Hungbo and Blair Spittal is a difficult task but hopefully one that has been accomplished with the signings of Yann Dhanda and Jordy Hiwula.
The arrivals that have created the most intrigue amongst County fans this season are brothers Victor Loturi and William Akio. Some fans wonder how they will adapt to the Scottish game, but in my mind I have no doubt both will become big players for County for many years to come.
Most County fans believe we’re still a bit light defensively as Jack Baldwin, Alex Iacovitti and Keith Watson are the only senior “natural” centre-backs at the club. Due to Connor Randall fracturing his leg against Celtic and being ruled out until the new year, a right-back/centre-back on loan could be an option.
Sam Miller – Dogger Saints Podcast
With a raft of the double winners calling time on their stay in Perth, Callum Davidson has overhauled the squad and so far brought in 10 players.
Some early concerns have been raised over the age of a few of the guys coming in; Jamie Murphy (32), Andrew Considine (35), Ryan McGowan (32) and Graham Carey (33) are most certainly considered ‘veterans’. The early pick of the bunch is Millwall loanee centre-back Alex Mitchell. ‘Old school’ in style, he’s currently keeping club captain Liam Gordon out of the team.
The area that needs strengthening without a doubt is the attack. Since the departure of Callum Hendry to Salford, it leaves the club with two fit strikers in Stevie May and the unproven Canadian Theo Bair.
I have no doubt we’ll get someone in, but fingers crossed they can hit the ground running. The season may just depend on them.
Mark Jardine – Misery Hunters Podcast
After a tough start to his time in Paisley, Stephen Robinson made his moves early in the summer, bringing in seven players including the familiar faces of Mark O’Hara, Trevor Carson and Jonah Ayunga.
Carson is a highly-qualified and dependable replacement for departed goalkeeper Jak Alnwick and O’Hara appears to be a textbook Stephen Robinson transfer – a physical, relentless presence in the heart of midfield who will be just as happy mopping up at the back.
Ayunga is more of an unknown quantity for the home faithful. Robinson has been glowing in his praise from their time working together in Morecambe, and he has stepped up to lead the line in the early season absence of both Eamonn Brophy and Curtis Main.
Perhaps the most high profile and surprising of St Mirren’s new signings has been the addition of Scotland centre-half Declan Gallagher from Aberdeen. Despite a somewhat harsh second yellow in his return visit to Pittodrie, Gallagher shows all the signs of being a solid and dependable upgrade to a backline which leaked far too many goals towards the end of the previous season.
It is probably unlikely that the squad will get larger before the close of the transfer window. If there is some movement out, the expectation from many is added quality on the left-hand side to provide competition for the regularly injured Scott Tanser.
Beyond that, and despite every warning that falling in love with a loan player will only break your heart, there remain Alex Gogic and Connor Ronan-sized holes in the affections of most in Paisley.
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Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes on September 1.
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