There are always plenty of reasons to be excited when the new season comes around but this year, maybe more than ever, there are a host of young and exciting players plying their trade in the Scottish Premiership.
And it’s not just the big guns who have plenty of talent on offer this time around, there’s strength-in-depth pretty much throughout the division; hopefully ensuring an exciting campaign for everyone involved.
So here are just some of the names to look out for over the next nine-months or so, and remember, you heard about them here first!
Mikey Johnston – Celtic
Despite current champions Celtic signing a few new faces this summer, I’m most intrigued about Johnston’s future.
The twenty year old can play on either wing and maybe within the fullness of time can star as a number ten. He made twenty-three appearances in total for the Hoops first-team last term and looked bright on occasions. He grabbed five goals, including a double against Hearts at the end of the season.
Celtic gaffer Neil Lennon certainly seems to like Johnston, giving him a starting berth in the Scottish Cup Final. He also started the young winger in Celtic’s opening Champions League qualifier this season, with Mikey scoring one and setting up another in his side’s 3-1 win in Sarajevo.
It’s a big year for the forward, who will hope to show more consistency and get more starts.
Christian Doidge – Hibs
Doidge comes to Easter Road on the back of just one goal in seventeen Championship games for Bolton Wanderers during a loan spell there towards the end of last season.
But in fairness Bolton were floundering financially by that point and the whole club were at it’s lowest ebb. During the first half of the season, Doidge scored an impressive fourteen league goals in twenty-five games for Forest Green in England’s League Two.
So the Welshman does seem to have goals in him and it will be interesting to see if he can find the net regularly in Scotland.
Christian is a striker that seems to come alive once the ball arrives inside the box, much in the mould of a Kris Boyd. So his teammates will have to make sure they supply him with plenty of balls into the box. Doidge also looks to be very effective in the air.
The hitman grabbed his first Hibees goal against Alloa in the League Cup in July and will hope to follow that up with strikes once the league campaign kicks-off!
Lyndon Dykes – Livingston
The Australian forward had to wait for his Livi debut but it was worth the wait as he grabbed a goal against Falkirk. He’ll hope to do the same in his Premiership debut against Motherwell on Saturday.
The twenty-three year old is Livingston’s new number nine and will hope to score the goals that keeps Gary Holt’s team in the top flight. He also proved at Queen of the South that he can provide assists for teammates when required.
Can be a real handful inside the box and can work the wings if needed. Probably needs to become more selfish if he’s going to be a regular scorer in the Premiership.
Joe Aribo – Rangers
Rangers fought off competition for Joe Aribo, which shows the potential talent he possesses. His former Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer feels he has all the attributes to shine in the English Premier League one day.
The midfielder can be a box-to-box type or attack from the right in a midfield three. He has the engine and the skill to beat players and has a keen eye for goal, scoring twice already in Europa League qualifying.
The twenty-three year old stated that Gers gaffer Steven Gerrard was a big reason for him making his move to Ibrox and Gerrard could be the right person to get even more out of Aribo.
I’m pretty sure Joe will get a lot of game time at Rangers as he has already impressed at his new club.
Oan Djorkaeff – St Mirren
Not going to lie, the main reason I’ve selected Oan is because I loved his dad Youri. But St Mirren have struggled in pre-season and in the League Cup and they’ve got a threadbare squad.
Oan could be the spark needed to kickstart things at St Mirren Park. The youngster wants to step away from his father’s shadow and prove himself.
St Mirren struggled in the final third for much of last season, it’s hoped that Oan can help out with adding more goals and assists to the team’s tally.
Showed composure to score from the spot in a League Cup tie against Edinburgh City. Will be interesting to see if he can follow that up with some impressive performances in the Scottish Premiership.
Lewis Ferguson – Aberdeen
The nineteen year old enjoyed a cracking first season at Pittodrie and it’s now up to the youngster to show that he can get even better this term.
Ferguson showed he could pop up with important goals during his debut season with Aberdeen as he made a six goal return in the league, if I were Dons boss Derek McInnes I’d be challenge the battling midfielder to reach double figures in his second year at Aberdeen.
If he can do that and continue to improve then I’d expect the central midfielder to stake a claim to make his Scotland debut in the 2019/20 season.
He certainly seems to have the ability to help The Dons boss midfield battles.
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