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12 Scottish Premiership Players I’m Looking Forward To Seeing In 2019/20

Date: 1st August 2019

 

We are just days away from the Scottish Premiership’s return. 

With that in mind I thought I’d select a player from each of the twelve competing teams that I’m looking forward to seeing in the upcoming campaign. 

Lewis Ferguson – Aberdeen 

The nineteen year old enjoyed a cracking first season at Pittodrie and it’s now up to the youngster to show that he can get even better this term. 

Ferguson showed he could pop up with important goals during his debut season with Aberdeen as he made a six goal return in the league, if I were Dons boss Derek McInnes I’d be challenge the battling midfielder to reach double figures in his second year at Aberdeen. 

If he can do that and continue to improve then I’d expect the central midfielder to stake a claim to make his Scotland debut in the 2019/2o season.

He certainly seems to have the ability to help The Dons boss midfield battles. 

Mikey Johnston – Celtic 

Despite current champions Celtic signing a few new faces this summer, I’m most intrigued about Johnston’s future. 

The twenty year old can play on either wing and maybe within the fullness of time can star as a number ten. He made twenty-three appearances in total for the Hoops first-team last term and looked bright on occasions. He grabbed five goals, including a double against Hearts at the end of the season. 

Celtic gaffer Neil Lennon certainly seems to like Johnston, giving him a starting berth in the Scottish Cup Final. He also started the young winger in Celtic’s opening Champions League qualifier this season, with Mikey scoring one and setting up another in his side’s 3-1 win in Sarajevo. 

It’s a big year for the forward, who will hope to show more consistency and get more starts. 

Brian Easton – Hamilton Accies 

Along with James McArthur and James McCarthy, Easton burst onto the scene as a talented kid at Hamilton over a decade ago.  

Like the two midfielders, Easton would also venture down south but the defender couldn’t gain the same success in England. He soon returned and had spells at Dundee and St Johnstone. He stayed in Perth for six seasons, helping The Saints to Scottish Cup glory in 2014. 

Unfortunately in the last two years injury has curtailed Brian’s career. 

This summer the left-back returned to his first club. At thirty-one, he returns as a veteran and will need to use his defensive experience to do his upmost to help The Accies steer clear of any relegation troubles. 

Craig Halkett – Hearts 

Halkett enjoyed a terrific first season in the Scottish Premiership last year. The defender managed to grab seven goals for Livi in the Scottish top flight and that along with his strong defensive attributes convinced Hearts manager Craig Levein to sign the player up. 

Craig’s obviously a handful in the opposition’s penalty area and has already proven that to be the case with the Jambos as he’s scored three times in as many League Cup games. But he’s also another leader at the back and he’s versatile too, as he can play centrally or as a makeshift right-back if needed. 

It will be interesting to see it Craig Halkett can keep with Christophe Berra or John Souttar out of Levein’s starting line-up, both have represented Scotland at centre-back after all. Maybe Hearts will look at playing three at the back during the season. 

With Halkett’s impressive form last season and his blistering start to life at Tynecastle, it seems impossible for him not to start the league campaign in the heart of The Jambos defence, 

Christian Doidge – Hibs 

Doidge comes to Easter Road on the back of just one goal in seventeen Championship games for Bolton Wanderers during a loan spell there towards the end of last season. 

But in fairness Bolton were floundering financially by that point and the whole club were at it’s lowest ebb. During the first half of the season, Doidge scored an impressive fourteen league goals in twenty-five games for Forest Green in England’s League Two. 

So the Welshman does seem to have goals in him and it will be interesting to see if he can find the net regularly in Scotland. 

Christian is a striker that seems to come alive once the ball arrives inside the box, much in the mould of a Kris Boyd. So his teammates will have to make sure they supply him with plenty of balls into the box. Doidge also looks to be very effective in the air. 

The hitman grabbed his first Hibees goal against Alloa in the League Cup in July and will hope to follow that up with strikes once the league campaign kicks-off! 

Eamonn Brophy – Kilmarnock 

Brophy was a star in Killie’s fantastic season last year. The forward struck eleven times in the league and that was enough to earn him his first cap for Scotland in June.

It’s now important that the twenty-three year old can continue that form into this campaign. Kilmarnock no longer have Kris Boyd to rely on when it comes to grabbing the goals and Brophy will be the star that they look to when it comes to replacing Boyd’s usual strong tally. 

He has the ability to produce the goods and he certainly showed the desire needed last year but can he do it again?  

It’s been a tough start to the season at Rugby Park but Brophy did score in his side’s disappointing European outing. 

Lyndon Dykes – Livingston 

The Australian forward had to wait for his Livi debut but it was worth the wait as he grabbed a goal against Falkirk. He’ll hope to do the same in his Premiership debut against Motherwell on Saturday. 

The twenty-three year old is Livingston’s new number nine and will hope to score the goals that keeps Gary Holt’s team in the top flight. He also proved at Queen of the South that he can provide assists for teammates when required. 

Can be a real handful inside the box and can work the wings if needed. Probably needs to become more selfish if he’s going to be a regular scorer in the Premiership. 

Liam Polworth – Motherwell 

Motherwell’s summer has seen them lose midfielders Carl McHugh, Chris Cadden and Alex Gorrin while talented youngster David Turnbull also picked up a longterm injury. All that means they needed to find some midfield recruits. 

One of those new boys is central midfielder Liam Polworth. Before his move to Well. Liam made over 160 league appearances for Inverness Caley Thistle. He stayed with Caley after relegation, hoping to get them back up. 

That didn’t happen and he’s now at Fir Park. It could be a tremendous move as Polworth is a very good passer of the ball and he can also be dangerous taking set-pieces. 

With Motherwell losing Turnbull from their team for the opening month, many a Well fan will look at Liam Polworth as the man in the engine room who can provide chances for the attackers.

Joe Aribo – Rangers 

Rangers fought off competition for Joe Aribo, which shows the potential talent he possesses. His former Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer feels he has all the attributes to shine in the English Premier League one day.

The midfielder can be a box-to-box type or attack from the right in a midfield three. He has the engine and the skill to beat players and has a keen eye for goal, scoring twice already in Europa League qualifying. 

The twenty-three year old stated that Gers gaffer Steven Gerrard was a big reason for him making his move to Ibrox and Gerrard could be the right person to get even more out of Aribo. 

I’m pretty sure Joe will get a lot of game time at Rangers as he has already impressed at his new club. 

Billy Mckay – Ross County 

The Northern Ireland international forward was prolific during his time in Inverness from 2012-2014 but his career stalled there after. He struggled to settle anywhere until he joined Ross County in 2017. 

Mckay was back amongst the goals last season as he struck seventeen times for The Staggies in The Championship as he helped them secure promotion back into the Premiership.

It’s now up to Billy to show that he’s ready to put all his barren years behind him and show everyone that he can once again become prolific in Scotland’s top tier.  

Zander Clark – St Johnstone 

Many suspect that St Johnstone could be involved in a relegation dog-fight this season. If that’s not to be the case or if they want to survive then they’ll need a top goalie between the sticks. 

Twenty-seven year old Clark is a reliable shot-stopper and The Saints seem to perform better when he’s their number one. 

A hamstring injury curtailed his season last term. Before that lay-off Zander was being discussed as a possible call-up for the Scottish national team. 

Could be key if St Johnstone are to succeed this season. 

Oan Djorkaeff – St Mirren 

Not going to lie, the main reason I’ve selected Oan is because I loved his dad Youri. But St Mirren have struggled in pre-season and in the League Cup and they’ve got a threadbare squad. 

Oan could be the spark needed to kickstart things at St Mirren Park. The youngster wants to step away from his father’s shadow and prove himself. 

St Mirren struggled in the final third for much of last season, it’s hoped that Oan can help out with adding more goals and assists to the team’s tally. 

Showed composure to score from the spot in a Legaue Cup tie against Edinburgh City. Will be interesting to see if he can follow that up with some impressive performances in the Scottish Premiership. 

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