Scottish Premiership ins and outs - January 2015

Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven
Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven moved to Celtic from Dundee United

The January transfer window looked destined to close with a bit of a whimper until it burst into life with a host of deadline-day moves in which, surprise, surprise, Celtic were not the only club to dip their hands into their wallet.

The Scottish Premiership leaders and reigning champions paid more than £2m to rip midfielders Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven away from League Cup final opponents Dundee United in the biggest move of the window.

But second-top Aberdeen also showed some ambition by paying about £300,000 for St Mirren midfielder Kenny McLean, while United responded themselves by buying forward Robbie Muirhead from Kilmarnock.

Motherwell also paid out for Kidderminister Harriers midfielder Marvin Johnson, but the Scottish Premiership lost its top scorer, with midfielder Tony Andreu heading to Norwich City from Hamilton Academical., while Billy Mckay headed to Wigan Athletic from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

So who are the key signings for each club and how successful were their summer acquisitions?

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

Key January move:The trend of Celtic being the only Scottish club to pay any more than a pittance in transfer fees was broken as the midfield talent that is Kenny McLean, who for so long appeared to be destined for English football, added to the strong squad being assembled at Pittodrie.

How did they fare?:Marquee summer signing David Goodwillie has gone some way to resurrecting his reputation after his ill-fated spell at Blackburn Rovers, while Jeffrey Monakana returned to Brighton having failed to improve his. However, it is the form of goalkeeper Scott Brown and defender Ash Taylor, until the latter suffered serious injury, who provided the rock on which Aberdeen's fine season has been built despite arriving relatively unheralded from England's lower leagues.

In: Kenny McLean, midfielder (St Mirren, £300,000); Lukas Culjak, defender (Borussia Dortmund).Loan: Donervon Daniels, defender (West Bromwich Albion).

Out: Loan ended: Jeffrey Monakana, midfielder (Brighton and Hove Albion). Loan: Craig Storie, midfielder (Brechin City); Craig Murray, defender (Ayr United).

Celtic

Celtic

Key January move:Celtic waited until deadline day before making the big move of the January window, with blossoming pair Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven arriving from Dundee United. However, the retention of fellow midfielder Kris Commons on a new contract could prove just as astute.

How did they fare?: Craig Gordon proved to be the bargain of the summer, with the goalkeeper rekindling his international form on his return from long-term injury. Of Celtic's other summer acquisitions, only on-loan Manchester City striker John Guidetti impressed and even his form has shaded.

In: Stuart Armstrong, midfielder (Dundee United, undisclosed); Gary Mackay-Steven, midfielder (Dundee United, undisclosed); Michael Duffy, midfielder (Derry City, undisclosed).

Out: Filip Twardzik, midfielder (Bolton Wanderers, undisclosed); Marcus Fraser, defender (Ross County); Paul George, midfielder (Dunfermline Athletic). Loan ended: Joe Inge Berget, midfielder (Cardiff City). Loan: Stuart Findlay, defender (Dumbarton); John Herron, midfielder (Cowdenbeath); Paul McMullan, forward (Stenhousemuir); Jordan Hart, goalkeeper (Annan Athletic).

Dundee

Dundee

Key January move:If Paul Hartley can get the careers of Stephen McGinn and Alex Harris back on track after the midfield pair's recent blips at Sheffield United and Hibs respectively, it could go a long way to securing a top-six place for Dundee.

How did they fare?: Dundee recruited a host of well-kent Scottish top-flight faces as Paul Hartley reshaped his promoted squad, but it was Greg Stewart, a striker plucked from relative obscurity with Cowdenbeath, who has outshone the lot with his 14-goal contribution.

In: Stephen McGinn, midfielder (Sheffield United); Paul Heffernan, forward (Hibernian); Kostadin Gadzhalov, defender (Dubrudzha Dobrich); Ben Priest, defender (Wolverhampton Wanderers). Loan: Alex Harris, midfielder (Hibernian).

Out: Peter MacDonald, forward (Greenock Morton); Arvid Schenk, goalkeeper; Nicky Riley, midfielder (Peterhead); Cammy Kerr, defender (Peterhead). Loan: Martin Boyle, forward (Hibernian); Phil Roberts, midfielder (Alloa Athletic); Dylan Carreiro, midfielder (Arbroath); Jamie Reid, midfielder (Elgin City).

Dundee United

Dundee United

Key January move: Despite United trying to suggest that the recruitment of five players compensated for the sale of Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven to Celtic, the midfield pair's departure can only weaken their hopes of defeating the Glasgow side in both the Scottish Cup quarter-finals and League Cup final.

How did they fare?: Jackie McNamara plundered Poland, Norway, England and the Netherlands for new talent, but it was his raid on Rangers for Charlie Telfer that turned out to be his steal of the summer. The young midfielder who struggled to find a place in a Rangers team in League One became a Premiership hit.

In: Robbie Muirhead, forward (Kilmarnock, £150,000); Henri Anier, forward (Erzgebirge Aue); Ryan McGowan, defender (Shandong Luneng Taishan); Paul Dixon, defender (Huddersfield Town); Simon Murray, forward (Arbroath, undisclosed).

Out: Stuart Armstrong, midfielder (Celtic, £2m); Gary Mackay-Steven, midfielder (Celtic, nominal); Mark Wilson, defender (Dumbarton). Loan: Keith Watson, defender (Hibernian); Darren Petrie, midfielder (Dumbarton); Ola Adeyemo, forward (East Fife); Jordan Moore, forward (Queen's Park); Marc McCallum, goalkeeper (Arbroath); Simon Murray, forward (Arbroath).

Hamilton Academical

Hamilton Academical

Key January move: The big decision for Hamilton during January was who would replace Norwich City-bound manager Alex Neil. Big defender Martin Canning was handed the job despite big-name wooings from the likes of Rino Gattuso, but Neil's deadline-day raid for Premiership top scorer Tony Andreu will not help the new player-manager recover from a difficult start.

How did they fare?: Recruiting Michael McGovern from Falkirk proved to be an astute move, with the goalkeeper proving again to be top-flight quality, while Dougie Imrie took the step back up to the top-flight in his stride.

In: Guillaume Beuzelin, assistant manager (Dumbarton); Chris Swailes, head coach; Nico Sumsky, midfielder (Dukla Banska Bystrica); Lucas Tagliapietra, defender (Milsami Orhei); Nigel Hasselbaink, forward (Veria); Lee Lynch, midfielder (Limerick).

Out: Alex Neil, manager-midfielder (Norwich City, undisclosed); Tony Andreu, midfielder (Norwich City, undisclosed); Mikael Antoine-Curier, forward; Jason McGrath, forward.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Key January move: For the second window in a row, there have been no significant additions to John Hughes' squad. And the sale of Billy Mckay to Wigan Athletic leaves Yogi without a recognised experienced striker and having to rely on that total football to which he aspires.

How did they fare?: The only senior summer signing, former Hibs midfielder Lewis Horner, has only made one substitute appearance and that was back in August.

In: None.

Out: Billy Mckay, forward (Wigan Athletic, undisclosed); Ibra Sekajja, forward (Livingston).

Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock

Key January move: Allan Johnston overcame a difficult first season at Rugby Park only to exit the manager's post after expressing his disappointment at the deadline-day sale of forward Robbie Muirhead to Dundee United.

How did they fare?: Josh Magennis has played more games than anyone for Kilmarnock this season, but the striker's statistics - just four goals - highlight where the problem has been this season for Kilmarnock, who have been unable to find a replacement for Kris Boyd.

In: None.

Out: Allan Johnston, manager; Robbie Muirhead, forward (Dundee United, £150,000); Ross Davidson, midfielder (Albion Rovers).

Motherwell

Motherwell

Key January move: Manager Ian Baraclough has brought in a host of faces from the English lower leagues he knows so well, but it could be the return of Motherwell old boy and former Scotland midfielder Stephen Pearson that provides the midfield influence that steadies the sinking ship that led to Stuart McCall's departure.

How did they fare?: Henrik Ojamaa and Lionel Ainsworth proved to be less exciting additions than expected considering their first spells at Fir Park, with the former heading back to Legia Warsaw.

In: Marvin Johnson, midfielder (Kidderminster Harriers, undisclosed); Stephen Pearson, midfielder (Kerala Blasters); Nathan Thomas, forward (Plymouth Argyle). Loan: George Long, goalkeeper (Sheffield United); Conor Grant, midfielder (Everton); Anthony Straker, defender (York City); Louis Lang, defender (Nottingham Forest).

Out: Kenny Black, assistant manager. Loan: Morgyn Neill, defender (Ayr United). Loan ended: Henrik Ojamaa, forward (Legia Warsaw).

Partick Thistle

Partick Thistle

Key January move: Thistle will be hoping that striker Lyle Taylor makes as big an impression on loan from Scunthorpe United as he did at Firhill last season. However, the arrival of Callum Booth from Hibs could be just as significant as they have struggled to compensate at left-back following Jake Carroll's injury and return to Huddersfield Town.

How did they fare?: Former Gretna midfielder Abdul Osman impressed on his return to Scottish football from Crewe Alexandra as a controlling influence in the centre of the park. In contrast, former Blackpool striker Nathan Eccleston exited after only six months at Firhill.

In: Ryan Finnie, defender (Rangers). Loan: Lyle Taylor, forward (Scunthorpe United); Callum Booth, defender (Hibernian).

Out: Aaron Muirhead, defender (Falkirk); Nathan Eccleston, forward; Lee Gallacher, goalkeeper (Stenhousemuir). Loan ended: Jake Carroll, defender (Huddersfield Town). Loan: Liam Lindsay, defender (Airdrieonians).

Ross County

Ross County

Key January move: Much may rest on the shoulders of former Hearts midfielder Rueben Palazuelos, most recently in the Greek top flight, if Ross County are to escape the deep relegation trouble in which they find themselves.

How did they fare?: Most of Derek Adams' plethora of summer signings have been ditched by successor Jim McIntyre, with only goalkeeper Antonio Reguero, on-loan Celtic midfielder Jackson Irvine and returning Cardiff City playmaker Filip Kiss getting into double figures in terms of starts.

In: Rueben Palazuelos, midfielder (Ermis); Raffaele De Vita, midfielder (Cheltenham Town); Darvydas Sernas, midfielder (Wigry Suwalki); Craig Curran, forward (Nuneaton Town); Marcus Fraser, defender (Celtic). Loan: Cameron Burgess, defender (Fulham)

Out: Yoann Arquin, forward (St Mirren); Darren Maatsen, forward (Den Bosch); Lewis Toshney, defender (Cowdenbeath)

St Johnstone

St Johnstone

Key January move: Danny Swanson could be a shrewd deadline-day acquisition should the clever midfielder recapture the form that led to a move to English football from Dundee United.

How did they fare?: Simon Lappin has added some much-needed class on the ball to the Saints midfield on loan from Cardiff City.

In: George Hunter, forward (Spartans). Loan: Danny Swanson, midfielder (Coventry City).

Out: Gary McDonald, midfielder (Peterhead); Scott Stevenson, midfielder. Loan: Dylan Easton, midfielder (Dumbarton).

St Mirren

St Mirren

Key January move: The deadline-day sale of Kenny McLean could prove deadly for St Mirren's hopes of avoiding relegation, the midfielder not only being the Buddies stand-out performer but being a useful stand-in up front as their striker's fired blanks.

How did they fare?: Of the the three strikers brought in by Danny Lennon, two have departed under successor Gary Teale, none having proved capable of compensating for captain Steven Thompson's spells of injury, while two loan signings failed to make the grade despite being schooled at English champions Manchester City.

In: Yoann Arquin, forward (Ross County); Kieran Sadlier, midfielder (West Ham United). Loan: Emmanuel Sonupe, midfielder (Tottenham Hotspur); James Dayton, midfielder (Oldham Athletic).

Out: Kenny McLean, midfielder (Aberdeen, £300,000); James Marwood, forward (Forest Green Rovers); Declan Hughes, midfielder (Cowdenbeath); Ross Caldwell, forward (Greenock Morton). Loan ended: Adam Drury, midfielder (Manchester City); Ellis Plummer, defender (Manchester City).

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