28 Dec The Scottish Premiership’s best buys of 2017
With finance still in short supply north of the border, Scottish clubs have to wheel and deal to make the most of their transfer funds.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at nine signings who made a big impact during 2017.
Ryan Christie – Aberdeen
First joined the Dons on loan from Celtic in January before having his Pittodrie stay extended for another 12 months in the summer. His ability to pick a defence-splitting pass has ensured he is the first name on Derek McInnes’ team-sheet.
Glen Kamara – Dundee
The Finland international made his Dens move after being released by Arsenal but has transformed himself into a central figure for Neil McCann’s side. The 22-year-old has started all but one game this term, winning plaudits for displays that combine both a feisty competitive streak as well as some nimble footwork.
Cedric Kipre – Motherwell
The 21-year-old defender has made such an impact after signing on a 12-month contract in the summer that Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson handed the former PSG youngster a new two-year deal just six weeks later.
Kyle Lafferty – Hearts
The one-time Rangers favourite has wasted little time ingratiating himself with the Tynecastle faithful as he put two years of frustration at Norwich behind him. With 11 goals in 24 appearances he has managed to reproduce the kind of strike-rate that helped him fire Northern Ireland to Euro 2016.
Alfredo Morelos – Rangers
The little Colombian – a £1million signing from Finnish side HJK Helsinki – is the only player signed by Pedro Caixinha to make any sort of impact. He has 12 goals from 21 starts so far but his poacher’s eye should see him add to that tally before the season is out.
Simon Murray – Hibernian
For a player who started his career in the junior ranks, the Leith forward has taken to life in the top-flight with ease since making his switch from Dundee United this summer. Started the campaign in lethal form with 10 goals in his first seven games and has found the net regularly since then.
Olivier Ntcham – Celtic
The £4.5million summer recruit from Manchester City has added an extra dimension to Brendan Rodgers’ all-conquering Parkhead line-up with his classy range of passing. Also handy when given space to shoot from the edge of the box.
Michael O’Halloran – St Johnstone
The winger is expected to head back to Rangers once his six-month loan ends but Saints boss Tommy Wright cannot complain too much given O’Halloran’s contribution during his short return to Perth, especially in the early part of the season where he netted five goals in his first six games.
David Templeton – Hamilton
The former Rangers and Hearts winger feared he may have to hang up his boots as a two-year injury lay-off took its toll. Accies, though, gave him a chance back in April after finally proving his fitness – a decision vindicated by his Labdrokes Premiership player of the month award for November.