January Transfer Deadline Day Round-up



The bi-annual football gossip extravaganza that is transfer deadline day has come and gone now until August, and it’s fair to say that it was one of the more eventful ones we’ve had in Scotland for some time. Over 50 deals were done by teams in the SPFL yesterday, and they included some big moves between some of Scotland’s top teams – most notably Kenny McLean moving to Aberdeen from St Mirren and Celtic capturing Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong from Dundee United.

Here’s a breakdown of the big transfer deals of deadline day and what it means for the teams involved.


Aberdeen’s big signing was Kenny McLean from St Mirren, which is believed to have set them back £250,000. McLean has been at the centre of St Mirren’s recent revival and if he can help the Dons get a few extra goals, the main thing that their side is lacking, then he could be worth every penny. Their signing of young German defender Lukas Culjak is also interesting, as although it may only be as cover for what is already a good defence he could well develop into a top player given his experience from Dortmund.

With two decent signings to add to what’s already a strong team, it was a good deadline day for the Dons.


Lukas Culjak [Borussia Dortmund – Aberdeen]
Kenny McLean [St Mirren – Aberdeen] £250k


Declan McManus [Aberdeen – Morton] Loan


After weeks of speculation Celtic managed to snap up their Dundee United duo, with Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong purchased to add some new flair to Ronnie Deila’s side. Almost as important is the story of who wasn’t transferred, as the Hoops kept a hold of Kris Commons with reports that he will indeed sign a new contract to keep him at Celtic Park. If these players can gel together on the pitch then Celtic might pick up form again.
All-in-all a good deadline day for Celtic.


Gary Mackay-Steven [Dundee United – Celtic]
Michael Duffy [Derry City – Celtic]
Stuart Armstrong [Dundee United – Celtic]


Filip Twardzik [Celtic – Bolton Wanderers]


Like their neighbours down the road, Dundee were quite active on deadline day. Their main signing was Paul Heffernan, who left Hibs earlier in the day, who will be a good signing for them I feel. Dundee also managed to make Stephen McGinn’s loan deal permanent and sign defender Ben Priest. Altogether these provide something new in all positions and could help Dundee push for a top six place.

Good signings from Dundee, whilst also loaning out some youth players for extra experience, some good moves from them.


Paul Heffernan [Hibs – Dundee]
Stephen McGinn [Sheffield United – Dundee] Loan made permanent
Ben Priest [Wolves – Dundee]


Dylan Carreiro [Dundee – Arbroath] Loan
Phil Roberts [Dundee – Alloa Athletic]
Jamie Reid [Dundee – Elgin City] Loan

Dundee United

The main wheeler and dealer on deadline day was Dundee United, although when you look at what they’ve lost it seems as though they’re the biggest losers in the Premiership. Losing Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong, the two young jewels of their team, could prove to be a major dent in their hopes of European football and a League Cup win. Paul Dixon returns to Tannadice and will provide some support in defence while Robbie Muirhead will give them a new option up front alongside Ciftci.

For Terrors fans I’m sure deadline day was a bad one.


Paul Dixon [Huddersfield Town – Dundee United]
Robbie Muirhead [Kilmarnock – Dundee United]


Ola Adeyemo [Dundee United – East Fife] Loan
Stuart Armstrong [Dundee United – Celtic]
Gary Mackay-Steven [Dundee United – Celtic]
Marc McCallum [Dundee United – Arbroath] Loan ext.
Jordan Moore [Dundee United – Queen’s Park]
Conor Townsend [Dundee United – Coventry City] Loan ended

Hamilton Accies

Considering the phenomenal season the Accies have had so far, it’s little wonder that some of their top players have been enticed elsewhere and deadline day saw one of their top talents Tony Andreu moving to the English Championship to join Norwich. Mickael Antoine-Curier also left the club, and would be a great target for any Championship team looking for a new striker given his track record. New signing Nico Sumsky is a young Czech midfielder, but it’s unclear how he’ll suit the Scottish game.

With the loss of two big players I think it was a bad transfer deadline day for Hamilton.


Nico Sumsky [Dukla Banska Bystrica – Hamilton Accies]


Tony Andreu [Hamilton Accies – Norwich City]
Mickael Antoine-Curier [Hamilton Accies – Unattached]


A quiet deadline for Hearts, only bringing in central midfielder Kenny Anderson. The player came through Waalwijk’s own academy and will add extra options for Robbie Neilson in what is already looking to be a Premiership-level side.

A quiet day but a good deadline day for the Jambos.


Kenny Anderson [RKC Waalwijk – Hearts]


Hibs are almost certainly only targeting a play-off place in the Championship now, and their dealings on deadline day go to show that they don’t want to put their eggs in one basket by strengthening for the Premiership too soon. Paul Heffernan was released, only to sign for Dundee later in the day, as he didn’t really hit the highs that gave him his reputation at Kilmarnock. Fraser Fyvie might prove to be a good signing for Hibs though, as he returns to Scottish football. He showed at Aberdeen that he is a talent, and with a lacklustre Hibs squad at the moment he might be able to provide a new spark to the side that will give them the confidence they need to improve.

I think it was an okay day for the Hibees on deadline day.


Fraser Fyvie [Unattached – Hibernian]


Paul Heffernan [Hibs – Dundee]

Inverness CT

Perhaps the easiest club’s fortunes to evaluate on deadline day, there were no movements in or out of Caley at all. Fans will naturally be wondering why striker Billy McKay wasn’t replaced, but considering that the team around him has been able to make up for his slight loss of form this season they might not be hit too hard.

On balance though, with other teams strengthening and Caley missing a main man up top at the moment it’s wasn’t a great deadline day for them.


There wasn’t much activity at Rugby Park on deadline day, with the only move being young Robbie Muirhead’s transfer to Dundee United. Some Killie fans might be unhappy at letting such young talent go, although the rumoured income of £150,000 from the deal might be welcomed just as much.

Perhaps a disappointing deadline day on the whole for Kilmarnock.


Robbie Muirhead [Kilmarnock – Dundee United]


Motherwell proved to be one of the most interesting teams on deadline day, bringing in four players from various English teams to help strengthen their side. Considering their precarious position near the relegation spots, it’s clear that the Well need to do something a little differently to maintain their Premiership status and they’ll be hoping that these players can do the job. All relatively young players, they’ll provide some cover mainly, although they’ll be eager to prove their worth as well.

A good deadline day for Motherwell, as long as their interesting buys pay off and keep them afloat.


Conor Grant [Everton – Motherwell]
Marvin Johnson [Kidderminster Harriers – Motherwell]
Nathan Thomas [Plymouth Argyle – Motherwell]
George Long [Sheffield United – Motherwell] Loan

Partick Thistle

Partick had a quiet deadline day, releasing Nathan Eccleston – a striker who played only 8 times for the Jags and scored 1 goal since his summer signing – signing Lyle Taylor on loan from Scunthorpe.

Nothing too spectacular at all, but considering their league position it may have shown a sign of ambition had they brought in some players with an eye to challenging for the top six. Not a great deadline day for Partick.


Lyle Taylor [Scunthorpe – Partick Thistle] Loan


Nathan Eccleston [Partick Thistle – Unattached]


In need of an injection of life into the squad, but without the funds to do it, Rangers have been gifted five Newcastle United players on loan. They’ll provide something fresh to what is a struggling squad in their battle at the top of the Championship.

With a range of new options to choose from, and no money having been spent in the process, Rangers got a pretty good deal on deadline day.


Gaël Bigirimana [Newcastle United – Rangers] Loan
Shane Ferguson [Newcastle United – Rangers] Loan
Kevin Mbabu [Newcastle United – Rangers] Loan
Remie Streete [Newcastle United – Rangers] Loan
Haris Vučkić [Newcastle United – Rangers] Loan

Ross County

County’s deadline day was rather quiet, despite a flurry of transfer activity in the days just before. Yann Songo’o will make a welcome return to the club to shore up a defence that hasn’t been consistent at all through the season. Darren Maatsen leaving shouldn’t hurt the club as despite his potential he was underutilised, with Lewis Toshney’s departure being similar.

Songo’o might help County strengthen their defence, and in combination with the other signings they have made in attack it might prove to be the spark that starts them off towards their usual second-half of the season bounceback.


Yann Songo’o [Blackburn Rovers – Ross County] Loan


Darren Maatsen [Ross County – Unattached]
Lewis Toshney [Ross County – Cowdenbeath]

St Johnstone

Another club with a one-in one-out deadline day, St Johnstone brought in Danny Swanson on loan. He showed his ability when playing for Dundee United, and despite not being quite as important to the teams he’s played for down south, he can act as the focal point of the Saints’ attack playing in behind David Wotherspoon and Steven McLean. Gary McDonald also left the club on deadline day, and while he was always a feature in the side since signing two years ago, he didn’t quite have the impact needed at Premiership level.

A subdued deadline day for St Johnstone, but if Swanson enjoys his return to the Scottish game enough then it could prove to be a day of good deals for them.


Danny Swanson [Coventry City – St Johnstone] Loan


Gary Macdonald [St Johnstone – Unattached]

St Mirren

Seeing Kenny McLean go off to Aberdeen may be a worry for some Saints fans, and although he’ll be a big miss the two new arrivals in Paisley might be enough to keep their current run of good form going. Lyle Taylor makes a return and will be hoping to make even more of an impact in this spell at the club while Tottenham Hotspur winger Emmanuel Sonupe joins the club, which could be an exciting prospect.

It was a mixed deadline day for St Mirren, and only time will tell whether losing Kenny McLean will have a big effect on the side.


Lyle Taylor [Scunthorpe United – St Mirren]
Emmanuel Sonupe [Tottenham Hotspur – St Mirren]


Kenny McLean [St Mirren – Aberdeen] £250k


About Author

Steven Kellow is a Ross County fan currently exiled as a student in Aberdeen. Aside from following the Staggies and Scottish football in general, he takes an interest in the more obscure and abstract features of the beautiful game: analysing football history, competitions and the side of football off the pitch. Enjoys writing about a range of topics apart from football too. He can actually understand BBC Alba commentary also.

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