January transfer window: Scottish Premiership fans have their say

Dundee striker David Clarkson
David Clarkson - one of the best signings of the season so far

Curious things, football transfers.

A team like Celtic can spend £2.3m on an intriguing foreign striker like Stefan Scepovic, only to get four goals in return so far.

Yet another club like Dundee have had their Premiership survival boosted by eight goals in eight games from a forward they acquired for free - David Clarkson.

Other outfits, like Hamilton Academical, seem to produce so much talent of their own that squad additions from elsewhere are few and far between.

One thing is certain this January in Scotland - with the exception of Celtic, few clubs will spend money on transfer fees to bring in fresh blood.

Instead, expect to see more fringe players from English clubs spending time on loan north of the border, and maybe a few deals handed to reliable journeymen currently out of contract.

Whatever happens, fans will be all over the rumours and speculation.

So BBC Scotland asked supporters from 12 Scottish Premiership clubs about their hopes for this January transfer window.

Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor
Ash Taylor - like Brian Irvine without the finishing ability, says Athole Rennie

Aberdeen supporter Athole Rennie

Most fearful of losing?

Niall McGinn. Although he's not scoring as many goals at the moment, I've been very impressed with his all round play. His ability to bring others into the game would be a huge loss.

Position needing strengthened?

Up front. We could be scoring a lot more goals than we are. If David Goodwillie was fit he'd be on 20 goals by now. Instead, he's struggling to get himself in the box to finish his chances. He's looked very impressive the last couple of games even though he looks like's he's dragging around a bag of cement. It didn't stop him bagging a quite tremendous strike against St Johnstone though!

Who do you want in January?

Gary Mackay-Steven. He says he wants to play for a big club! Seriously, St Mirren's Kenny McLean, although he's probably out of the Dons' reach too.

Most impressive summer signing?

Ash Taylor. He's looked excellent recently - like Brian Irvine without the finishing ability. He's been totally dominant in the air and seems to have a decent bit of pace about him as well. Got to be a Welsh cap just around the corner.

Least impressive summer signing?

Jeffrey Monakana didn't really set the heather on fire but it's not easy to break into a winning team.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Yes. He's done a fantastic job putting the side together. My only concern is how long we'll be able to hold on to him. The Atletico Madrid president is obviously keeping an eye on Pittodrie...

Dundee United's Stuart Armstrong
The Smeeths would welcome Celtic making a move for Dundee United's Stuart Armstrong

Celtic supporters Ian, Samuel and Joshua Smeeth

Most fearful of losing?

Virgil van Dijk. Our best centre-half and not an area we have a great deal of cover for.

Position needing strengthened?

Probably a goal scorer. We've still to find a replacement for Gary Hooper. Some of the recent performances, Motherwell away in particular, have been good but we're not scoring enough.

Who do you want in January?

Stuart Armstrong. He would bring something different to the team.

Most impressive summer signing?

Craig Gordon. He saved us in several of the Europa League matches. Very consistent all round and didn't cost a penny.

Least impressive summer signing?

Jo Inge Berget. Need we say more?

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Undecided. It's only his second window with the club and most of the signings in the summer were loans.

Hamilton Accies goalkeeper Michael McGovern
Ross McCall reckons goalkeeper Michael McGovern has been Hamilton's best summer signing

Hamilton Accies supporter Ross McCall

Most fearful of losing?

Tony Andreu. His goals, vision and skill would be a huge loss, as he is a hero to the fans. Manager Alex Neil going to Norwich is a big loss both on and off the pitch.

Position needing strengthened?

Now Jason Scotland has left, I would like to see a centre-forward come in to challenge Mikael Antoine-Curier and Eamonn Brophy. However, Alex Neil will be hard to replace.

Who do you want in January?

Stephen Pearson would do a job for Accies if the rumour of him leaving India is true. He can score goals and work hard for the team.

Most impressive summer signing?

Michael McGovern. The attacking players have had a lot of deserved credit but his performances and clean sheets have ensured Accies secured three points in a number of games this season.

Least impressive summer signing?

None. The majority of the signings have contributed, with Kieran MacDonald on loan to Dumbarton for the first half of the season, so it would be unfair to name him.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Absolutely. Jason Scotland's signing last year won us promotion and replacing play-off goalkeeping hero Kevin Cuthbert with Michael McGovern was brave, but has been justified.

Dundee United striker Mario Bilate
Mario Bilate still needs to prove his worth, says Ryan Dorward

Dundee United supporter Ryan Dorward

Most fearful of losing?

Gary Mackay-Steven. If he can keep up recent form he's the one man that could help do that something special and create that moment of magic out of nothing. He could be key in beating a strong Aberdeen side in the semi-final of the League Cup.

Position needing strengthened?

Another capable striker of helping Nadir Ciftci chip in with the goals would be ideal. If Ciftci was to get injured we'd be struggling for a replacement. Mario Bilate is out for what seems an eternity, leaving young and unproved Ola Adeyemo as the only fit recognised striker in the squad. A six-month loan from down south may be ideal until recently signed striker Simon Murray joins up from Arbroath.

Who do you want in January?

Billy McKay from Inverness Caley Thistle. Out of contract in the summer, he may be available for a knock-down fee. With our firepower coming from midfield able to supply the chances, I'm sure he could bang in the goals in Tangerine.

Most impressive summer signing?

Not a new signing, but it certainly feels like it having Chris Erskine back in the side and on form after a nightmare start to his United career. While providing plenty of goals and assists, his work-rate has been first class. Charlie Telfer has also stood out every time he's come onto the pitch and a special mention for Jaroslaw Fojut in the central of defence, who has been a rock.

Least impressive summer signing?

Mario Bilate. Despite his wonder goal against Motherwell, the big striker has suffered with injuries and we're all still waiting to be entirely convinced he has what it takes to lead the line.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Most definitely yes. He's already proven he has eye for a young talented player having signed Nadir Ciftci and Andy Robertson 18 months ago, as well as youngsters Aidan Connolly, Blair Spittal and Charlie Telfer. This method of identifying young talent is clearly a massive part of United's business plan. Hopefully Jackie can keep his record up and this method continues.

Queen of the South striker Gavin Reilly
Colin Craig would take Queen of the South's Gavin Reilly

Inverness Caledonian Thistle supporter Colin Craig

Most fearful of losing?

Marley Watkins. Our most improved player and when he's on form we've been at our most dominant. He's clearly in demand and would be a good steal for a bigger team down south.

Position needing strengthened?

Broken record time. We need another centre-forward. We could lose Billy McKay in January or in the summer and there is very little cover. Our goal scoring record in the top six does not compare well.

Who do you want in January?

Gavin Reilly has been scoring freely at Queen of the South and would fit the bill. We should also look to bring our own Under-20 striker Calum Ferguson into the first team - he is a Canada international after all.

Most impressive summer signing?

Only Lewis Horner and Ibra Sekajja joined in the summer and neither has had much opportunity. Ryan Christie signed a new deal so, if that counts, he has impressed the most. Genuine exciting talent who knows how to please a home crowd.

Least impressive summer signing?

Lewis Horner. Harsh to criticise guys who have had almost no chance to impress, but he looks like the kind of player we don't need and we should offload him now.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Very pleased with John Hughes's ability to get contract extensions from players like Greg Tansey and Gary Warren. His commitment to continuity has really helped us do well this season. We need to see some new faces coming in now and in the summer and this will be a tougher test. Fingers well and truly crossed.

St Johnstone forward James McFadden
Signing James McFadden has been a major coup for Saints, says Donald Farquhar

St Johnstone supporter Donald Farquhar

Most fearful of losing?

Teams might make a move for players like Northern Ireland international Alan Mannus and top scorer Michael O'Halloran. Losing manager Tommy Wright would be a worry, but that could happen any time, as he's been successful and bound to attract the attention of "bigger" clubs.

Position needing strengthened?

A versatile, young defender would be handy. The players we have are playing well, but injuries and suspensions could be a problem in the second half of the season, so more cover there would be good.

Who do you want in January?

A good loan signing from a top English club would be nice. Maybe Tommy could use his connections to pick up a young defender from Manchester City or Newcastle - someone like a young Callum Davidson or Alec Cleland.

Most impressive summer signing?

James McFadden - a real coup for the club. He is a Scotland hero, and still has it - his goal in the Scottish Cup against Ross County was absolutely brilliant. I never thought I would see him in a Saints shirt and looking forward to some more magic in the second half of the season.

Least impressive summer signing?

I don't like to criticise our players. I know how much dedication, work and effort goes into being a professional player, so I'll pass on that one.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Yes - Tommy Wright and his management team have my full support, and not just because we won the Scottish Cup. The team is playing well, we're still in the running for the top six and the Scottish Cup adventure continues too. Any player Tommy brings in will have my support - he knows what he's doing.

Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston
James Morrison remains unconvinced about Allan Johnston's transfer market nous

Kilmarnock supporter James Morrison

Most fearful of losing?

Mark Connolly. He's been our most consistent and best player. Otherwise, it would be one of the young lads likes of Mark O'Hara, Craig Slater, Lee Ashcroft, Rory McKenzie or even Robbie Muirhead. They should have been developed more by Allan Johnston, signed on longer contracts and possibly sold for serious money. We could now lose some of them for very little money.

Position needing strengthened?

Striker. We signed Josh Magennis, Lee Miller and Michael Ngoo in the summer and, of the three, only Magennis has actually scored. In fairness, Ngoo was badly injured by a shocking tackle by Virgil van Dijk and has not played since.

Who do you want in January?

There are rumours of a possible return to Rugby Park for Kris Boyd, who singlehandedly saved us from possible relegation last season.

Most impressive summer signing?

Mark Connolly, by some margin. Total commitment, strong in the tackle, a leader and comfortable on the ground and in the air. He is the centre back we've needed for years.

Least impressive summer signing?

Paul Cairney. He has looked overweight and unfit. He has not started one game. Apparently we didn't sign the prolific David Clarkson in the summer due to fitness concerns yet we still signed Cairney. Why?

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

No. With a record of one good signing (Mark Connolly) since Allan Johnston took over, how could we be confident? We did re-sign Kris Boyd and Alexei Eremenko under him but they were obviously known to the club. He signed some shockers in summer of 2013 and sadly Lee Miller, Josh Magennis (for his lack of goals), Michael Ngoo (due to his injury) Jamie Hamill and of course Paul Cairney have all been disappointing this season.

Dundee striker Greg Stewart
George Corbet has been impressed with Greg Stewart's jump up to the top flight

Dundee supporter George Corbet

Most fearful of losing?

David Clarkson would be a big loss but I don't think this is likely. Given his previous travels, I'm more fearful of losing Gary Harkins. He has been key in the position as the attacking midfielder. His natural skill is evident and when he plays well, the team plays well (and generally wins).

Position needing strengthened?

The defence is the weakest part of the team. We have been leaking far too many goals, partly down to the attacking style of play we adopt, with the defensive flanks all too often left exposed.

Who do you want in January?

A dominant central defender or defensive midfield player is required to provide more solidity at the back - one who can act as a leader on the park. Given the constraint on funds, I don't see an obvious candidate available. However, this is the role that Kevin Thomson should be performing. Unfortunately his appearances have been limited to date by injury and getting him back fully fit in the second half of the season will be crucial.

Most impressive summer signing?

David Clarkson was obviously a good piece of business. The hot streak has come to a (temporary) halt, but will hopefully return soon. I've also been impressed with Greg Stewart up front. Paul McGinn has been very effective as an attacking right-back and Scott Bain has produced some outstanding performances between the sticks.

Least impressive summer signing?

Despite only limited chances to perform on the pitch to date, both Philip Roberts and Simon Ferry have still to produce the performances I would have expected from their previous experience.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Yes. His signings to date have been good and we have to be reasonably satisfied with our return to top tier football in the first half of the season. It's a big step up into the Premiership for the players and this applies to the manager as well. Hartley always impressed me as a player - he's still learning his trade but I trust him to do it as a manager.

Partick Thistle midfielder Abdul Osman
Another team snatching Abdul Osman would be no laughing matter, says Colin Quinn

Partick Thistle supporter Colin Quinn

Most fearful of losing?

Abdul Osman. I think it unlikely we'll lose any key players, but he's been our most consistent player since signing in the summer. He would be a huge loss.

Position needing strengthened?

Left-back. It's been a problem since Aaron Taylor-Sinclair left in the summer. Given that Jordan McMillan has been filling in there, it's now a real issue. We also need another striker or flair player. Kallum Higginbotham has struggled since his knee operation.

Who do you want in January?

Left-back is key. There's still some quality in lower leagues in Scotland although there is that step up in class to contend with in the Premiership.

Most impressive summer signing?

The aforementioned Abdul Osman. Dan Seaborne is also worthy of a mention. Real quality at our level.

Least impressive summer signing?

Nathan Eccleston hasn't done much. I didn't have huge expectations but when you see a player on social media talking about how cold it is at training, you know he's not cut out for the job.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Absolutely. In Archie We Trust. He strengthened the squad last January with Lyle Taylor, Lee Mair and Prince Bauben. Then in the summer he moved on the right players and got quality in.

Motherwell forward Dave Scott
Henrik Ojamaa - Motherwell's one bright spark this season, according to Dave Scott

Motherwell supporter Dave Scott

Most fearful of losing?

Henrik Ojamaa. A real spark in what has been a largely disappointing season thus far. Would be a big miss if he were to go back to Legia Warsaw.

Position needing strengthened?

Midfield. Paul Lawson, Iain Vigurs, Stuart Carswell, Jack Leitch and Simon Ramsden have all been injured, with the latter being asked to play in midfield recently. To say we are currently threadbare in that department would be an understatement.

Who do you want in January?

We could do a lot worse than bring in someone like Steve Jennings on a short-term deal to help us out in the middle of the park. I would also be delighted if we could keep a hold of Henrik Ojamaa until the end of the season. For me, he could be the difference.

Most impressive summer signing?

Henrik Ojamaa. Has been a real bright spark in an otherwise dull season. At the heartbeat of all things positive that Motherwell have done on the park this season.

Least impressive summer signing?

Josh Law. Struggled to nail down a consistent place in the side. He showed glimpses of being a decent footballer, but struggled to do it game in, game out. That may well be to do with him being played out of position. Would love to see him get a run of games at right-back, where he has arguably been at his best.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Yes. With his previous jobs at both Scunthorpe United & Sligo Rovers, coupled with the scouting job he had up until recently with Huddersfield Town, he should have a wealth of contacts in England and Ireland. Hopefully we'll be in safe hands.

St Mirren forward James Marwood
"Can't cross, can't finish." - Rab Dempsey's opinion of James Marwood

St Mirren supporter Rab Dempsey

Most fearful of losing?

Kenny McLean. At the moment he's our only goal threat and creative spark. He's in the form of his life right now, just a pity it coincides with the club's worst run in years. With the money that's being mentioned for him I don't think we'd be able to adequately replace him. Stay and keep us up, Kenny, you'll get a much better move after doing so.

Position needing strengthened?

For two years we've been crying out for a no nonsense centre-half. Nothing fancy, just attack the ball in the air and clear the lines. Jim Goodwin can play there relatively well but we miss him badly in midfield.

Who do you want in January?

I'd love to see Scott Cuthbert (Leyton Orient) back at the club. Excellent defender in his previous spell with us. I wouldn't be gutted if we signed Kris Boyd either (last season's Killie version, not this season's Rangers one).

Most impressive summer signing?

To be polite, Tommy Craig's transfer dealings have been disastrous. The only one who close to pass marks has been the return of Jeroen Tesselaar. He's slotted into the defence relatively smoothly despite the carnage going on around him.

Least impressive summer signing?

James Marwood. He came to the club as a striker who could also play on the right-wing. Sadly he has proven to be equally poor in both positions - can't cross, can't finish, rumoured to be going back to Gateshead. Let's pretend he never came up the road in the first place.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

I'd be happy for Gary Teale to remain in charge until the end of the season. He's already spoken about the positions he needs to strengthen. I'm confident he's got enough decent contacts from his time in England to be able to bring in a handful of short-term fixes to help us finish 10th.

Ross County defender Ben Frempah
John Maxwell is glad to see Ben Frempah barging his way into the reckoning

Ross County supporter John Maxwell

Most fearful of losing?

Aberdeen are reportedly interested in Paul Quinn, although he's been offered a contract extension by Ross County. Quinn scored an own goal against the Dons and has occasionally looked shaky at the back, but on the whole he has been an improvement to the defence.

Position needing strengthened?

County need better quality all over the park, the league table definitely doesn't lie. The most urgent attention is needed at right-back, where someone who is just as comfortable taking the ball forward as well as defending would be most welcome. County also need a genuine playmaker in midfield; someone to play through the other team and open up the pitch rather than just playing around the opposition.

Who do you want in January?

Paul Lawson. With six months left of his contract at Motherwell, my ideal would be for County to negotiate his return. County don't have someone to make the big switch in play in midfield that he does so well. County have players that can hurt the opposition in wide areas if they can get one-on-one against opposing defenders, but the attackers have to get the service early and accurately.

Most impressive summer signing?

Ben Frempah is an exciting prospect and has already put in some commanding performances. He's a powerful defender who thrives in making clearances and tackles. Frempah has made errors - as has everyone in the County squad - but he has a good, honest attitude to match his potential and I think he has a good career ahead of him.

Least impressive summer signing?

I had so much hope for Timothy Dreesen, the centre-back with a respectable CV and a million euro transfer behind him. However, I think the physical aspect of the Scottish game might have been a bit of a culture shock for him.

Trust your manager's transfer market judgement?

Yes. Jim McIntyre needs to be pragmatic about how he improves the team. Players who have been here before on loan or otherwise might not necessarily do well again in different circumstances (despite my own call for Paul Lawson's return). The majority of McIntyre's signings so far have had a positive effect in varying degrees. This transfer window should define McIntyre's job more than his first three months and I trust he will get it right, but I wonder if it might already be too late to consolidate in 10th place or above.

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