By Rory West (@rorywest96)
When the transfer window reopens during the summer months, no matter what the level, each team has their prized asset that they try to keep a hold of at all costs. This is the case severely with Scottish sides. Many aren’t in a financial position where they can turn down a big money bid for one of their players.
While that is a fair enough reason in some instances, the sale of player resulting in a complete disharmony in a team could potential wreck the forthcoming season.
Here are each Premiership’s player that they must hold on to…
Aberdeen – Jonny Hayes
With Niall McGinn looking like he is on his way out, Aberdeen will be looking towards Jonny Hayes for most of their creative play next season. In my opinion, however, Hayes is the more valuable asset to have over Niall McGinn. Hayes is a more consistent performer while McGinn can have very off spells regularly in the season.
On their days both players are match winners but “their day” comes around more regularly for Hayes and it will be vital for Aberdeen to keep him as losing them both would be season ending, before it even begins.
With bids from Cardiff in January being swatted away, only for Hayes to sign a new contract was great news for the Dons and they will be hoping for more of the same this summer.
Celtic – Kieran Tierney
Consideration come under this choice as there is obviously Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele but if Dembele left Celtic would have a more than adequate replacement in Leigh Griffiths and personally I can’t see Sinclair tempting English clubs yet.
Tierney on the other hand will have plenty of suitors this summer and could be the hottest property of the summer. At this point he could walk into the majority of English Premier League sides’ teams at left-back. His ability is well documented and you only need to see him play once to realise how good he actually is.
It wouldn’t shock me at all if a team like Arsenal came in for him and it would be massive loss for Celtic as the more time he has at Celtic, the better he’ll get and in the end, the more Celtic can sell him on for.
Dundee – Cammy Kerr
Kerr is one of the brightest prospects to come through Dundee in many years. At right-back he has laid down such an important influence on the Dundee defence. There are aspects of his game that mirror those of Kieran Tierney at Celtic and any of those aspects on a full back should be cherished.
For his career in itself, another year at Dundee – whether that may be in the Championship – would massively help the development in his career as after all he is still only 21. There are still a few areas of his game where he could improve also and he is more likely to be given the opportunity to nurture those in Scotland, with a club willing to play him every week.
A move to England could be a disaster for his career and Dundee’s aspirations for next season.
Hamilton – Michael Devlin
It could be argued that Accies’ prized possession is Ali Crawford. In the last few seasons he would have (and has) been the man that they desperately tried to hold on to. Now things have changed and it is in fact Devlin that Accies will be looking to hold on to.
Crawford, although being the club’s top scorer, hasn’t performed at the level he has been known to. That may be partly down to missing parts of the season through injury but when he has returned to the side he hasn’t been up to his usual standard.
Devlin on the other hand, with also being the club captain, has performed outstandingly. There were always signs from Devlin since he first came through that he had the potential to become a top player and this season he has shown them.
Countless times he has saved Accies this season but not just at his own end of the park, at the other chipping in with a few goals. There have been rumours that he has been speaking to Aberdeen and he is out of contract at the end of next season but one more year of his qualities would be vital for Accies.
Hearts – Callum Paterson
This choice may be unlikely but in fact there is still a possibility it could happen. With Paterson almost admitting he would be leaving Hearts in the summer when his contract expired it looked as though he was on his way out the door. Until he suffered a season ending injury which could actually help Hearts.
Paterson won’t be fit again until mid way through pre-season and team’s may choose against signing a man who they have not had the chance to see play in 6 months.
Getting Paterson to sign on would be a massive deal for Hearts’ aspirations next season and something Ian Cathro needs to consider.
Inverness – Ross Draper
Mr. Reliable for so long for Caley, this season may have been a stretch too far for the big central midfielder. With the loss of so many key players around him and the soon to be loss of midfield partner Greg Tansey, things are going to get tougher for Draper.
Having signed a new contract during this season, it will take a transfer fee to drag him away from Caley and maybe if they go down there may be temptations to allow Draper to leave.
While financially that isn’t a terrible decision, especially with time in the Championship, Draper would be more than influential in that division. He would be one of the top players in the division and would thrive upon the rugged battles that you face in the Championship.
Kilmarnock – Jordan Jones
One of the many signed last summer by former boss Lee Clark, Jones not only has been one of the few that has managed to see it out but he has also performed at a high level for Killie this season.
Bringing a dynamic that allowed Killie to expand their game to the flanks with the use of his pace has helped players like Kris Boyd and Conor Sammon with the number of crosses Jones manages to put into the box.
With the chances looking very likely that Killie will be in the league next season, keeping a player like Jones and then adding to the others they have now, could allow them to push for a top 6 spot which would be a great improvement since last season’s playoff battle.
Motherwell – Louis Moult
A pretty obvious shout, yes, but Moult’s influence on the Motherwell team cannot be understated. A goalscorer can take even the poorest teams to a level that they shouldn’t be at.
Since arriving Moult has been a goal machine for ‘Well and it looks as though, even with some spells on the sideline, he has shot Motherwell out of a relegation battle.
His work that he has done so far in Lanarkshire will not have gone unnoticed within sides south of the border and it would not be a surprise to see some bids made for him in the summer. With the chances of Scott McDonald leaving at the end of the season, letting their top marksman go with no suitable replacement could be catastrophic for Motherwell.
Partick Thistle – Liam Lindsay
One of Scotland’s most promising centre halves, yet he can’t even get picked for the under 21s squad let alone the full squad, where he probably wouldn’t do as bad a job as some of the jobbers that take up those spaces.
Like Devlin for Accies, there have always been signs in Lindsay’s game that he has the potential to reach a high level. This season he has shown those signs and smashed them by helping Partick reach the top 6 for the first time since the 1980s.
He is a commanding figure in both penalty areas as he’s helped himself to more goals in the league than Joe Garner of Rangers this season. His defensive abilities have also shined with his pace being an important factor to Partick’s game.
With apparent interest from Leeds United, Partick may face a struggle on their hands keeping a hold of Lindsay but if they manage to they will be in great shape for next season.
Rangers – Kenny Miller
With news breaking in the past few days that he has finally been offered a new contract, this may be an old shout by the time you read but I’m sticking with it anyone as it is so pivotal for Rangers.
Miller has been their best striker this season, despite being 36 years old and having the competition of a £2million striker, yes Joe Garner was signed for that fee.
Albeit he hasn’t scored a sack load of goals, Miller’s teamplay has helped them get to where they are now. And with the goals and the number of important goals he scores, there may be questions that they could be further down the league.
Ross County – Liam Boyce
Again a similar shout to Louis Moult, Boyce has been key for County’s battle against the drop this season and their success last season.
Without many high profile news about it, there have surely been a few clubs come to Dingwall to cast an eye over Boyce since he started banging them in for County. More recent news that Hearts and – newly promoted – Hibs are looking to bring the striker to Edinburgh, means that there could be some work done at County to avoid the striker leaving for another side in the country.
St Johnstone – Joe Shaunghessy
When Shaunghessy first signed for the Saints from Aberdeen, not too much was expected from him but the Irishman has been a revelation.
Developing into on of the league’s best right backs, there is no question that he is one of the most important pieces to the St Johnstone jigsaw.
With the impending loss of Danny Swanson, a replacement for him is needed so Tommy Wright will not want the headache of another one of his top men needing a replacement.