Scottish football: Rob Maclean on Scott McKenna, Rangers' signings and Ross County
BBC commentator Rob Maclean provides his take on a weekend of Scottish football action.
McKenna shoots to fame
The rise to prominence of Aberdeen youngster Scott McKenna has been pretty remarkable.
The 21-year-old central defender was on loan at Ayr United last season, but since returning to Pittodrie he's made a massive impact.
He's started fewer than 20 first-team games for the club, but already McKenna's built up an army of admirers, with English Championship side Hull City among a cluster of clubs being told the player's not for sale right now.
Defending is Scott's game, but he delivered a spectacular demonstration of what he can do when he steps forward with an unstoppable 40-yard strike in Saturday's 3-1 win against Kilmarnock.
Aberdeen will hold on to him for the rest of the season but not, you would imagine, for too much longer.
Centre-back options emerge for Scotland
Suddenly centre-back doesn't seem the big problem for Scotland that it's been for a long time.
McKenna will surely be fast-tracked into the next squad, whoever picks it. And former Partick Thistle defender Liam Lindsay is another who must be knocking on the door of an international call-up.
Twenty-two-year-old Lindsay has hit the ground running since signing last summer for Championship side Barnsley and there's been talk of a £6m move to the Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Rangers' Ross McCrorie and new Aberdeen signing Michael Devlin are two others sure to be in the Scotland reckoning once they're recovered from injury.
And with Hearts skipper Christophe Berra in top form, the middle of the Scottish defence might not be the problem position it was.
Rangers' recruitment progress
Rangers have every chance of proving themselves 'best of the rest' behind Celtic after a flurry of January transfer activity.
Aberdeen have been the team in possession of that runners-up spot for the past three seasons, but they have serious competition this time around.
Four loan Rangers have already made an impression. Russell Martin has steadied the defence; Sean Goss looks a classy operator in midfield; Jamie Murphy has menace out wide; and Jason Cummings is a striking alternative to top scorer Alfredo Morelos, delivering his first goal in Sunday's 2-1 win over Ross County.
The latest arrival, from Hamilton, is midfielder Greg Docherty who'll add his special brand of energy to the side. Manager Graeme Murty will be spoilt for choice in that area when Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans are fit again.
Rangers' recruitment, questionable in recent times, has taken a serious step forward.
Highland clearance looms for Premiership
The Scottish Premiership is on the brink of a Highland clearance.
Inverness were relegated last season and Ross County are in grave danger of joining their neighbours in the Championship.
Manager John Robertson insists Caley Thistle could yet bounce back to the big league via the promotion play-offs. But that looks like a long shot and they could have County for company in Scotland's second tier next season.
Owen Coyle's team haven't won in nearly three months and Sunday's 2-1 home defeat by Rangers left them six points adrift at the bottom of the table.
The rise and rise of the Highland pair has been a football fairy tale. But this latest chapter seems unlikely to have a happy ending.