From a Manchester United loanee to a potential record-breaker, there’s a bit of contract confusion in the Scottish Premiership air.
The SPFL is on an indefinite suspension in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s unknown when we’ll kick off again but with contracts expiring as we head into the end of May and the start of June, some players could have kicked their last ball for the club they represent currently.
Hearts’ Craig Halkett relayed these thoughts from a players point of view, saying some could have played their last game without even knowing.
So we’re looking at a player from every Premiership club and using them as an example of those who may have finished their last game as contracts expire.
Motherwell – Mark Gillespie
The Geordie stopper has been excellent for Motherwell ever since replacing Trevor Carson as number one. He arrived as the Northern Irishman’s number two, but became first choice after his teammate’s DVT diagnosis.
He was approaching the Fir Park clean sheet record prior to the SPFL shutdown and his exit has already been hinted by manager Stephen Robinson. He said that Carson would return to being the Well number one next season recently.
Aberdeen – Jon Gallagher
Aberdeen don’t have many on loan currently or with contracts expiring. Given Greg Leigh’s loan deal has already been talked about in terms of it becoming a permanent fixture, Gallagher is the next option.
His loan may expire during the shutdown. With players such as Lewis Ferguson, Dean Campbell, Dylan McGeouch, Craig Bryson and even youngsters like Ethan Ross for immediate and long-term options, Derek McInnes could allow this loan to run down.
He is on loan from Atlanta United though, a club partnered with the Dons through chairman Dave Cormack.
Livingston – Steve Lawson
The Togo battler has been a versatile option for Gary Holt, capable of playing right-back and CDM. Lawson has played 23 times this season.
An enforced shutdown brings uncertainty for everyone but he could be one player who assesses his options in the summer.
Hibs – Greg Docherty
It’s started so well but it could be over so quickly. Docherty has impressed the Easter Road faithful since his arrival from Rangers on loan, making eight appearances with three goals and five assists.
If you can do the maths, you’ll see that’s a goal contribution a game on average. With his loan set to expire though potentially before football resumes, Hibs would need to thrash out another deal to get him back. Financially, a permanent one may be challenging.
St Johnstone – Callum Booth
Tommy Wright only signed the left-back on a short-term deal. After this expired though, the former Jag was signed up again on a contract until the end of May.
That will potentially expire before another ball is kicked. Given that he’s played 13 90 minute games since mid-December, Wright could move to tie Booth up again.
Kilmarnock – Stephen O’Donnell
A Scotland international, O’Donnell has been a mainstay in Killie’s team for a number of seasons now. His deal is due to expire in the summer though.
He’s been linked with several moves in the past and rumours will likely crop up again as his contract draws closer to expiry.
St Mirren – Vaclav Hladky
The Czech goalkeeper has been one of St Mirren’s standout stars this season, featuring in every game during this Premiership campaign.
He was linked with moves away from the club in January but nothing ever materialised. Whether something comes to fruition in the summer remains to be seen.
Ross County – Don Cowie
The Staggies have no fewer than 11 players with contracts expiring at the season’s scheduled end. Six of these players are 30 and above.
Cowie’s 37 now, so it’ll be interesting to see whether County bring him back on as a player for another campaign.
Hamilton – Mickel Miller
The attacker has been a key force in Brian Rice’s attack when fit this term, scoring four goals with three assists. His pace and creativity has been a source of inspiration at times.
He’s one of many players at the Fountain of Youth Stadium who are out contract this summer. Hibs made a last-ditch effort to sign him in January, alongside two other clubs. Could these suitors come back in shortly?
Hearts – Joel Pereira
The Portuguese stopper on loan from Manchester United has been replaced by Zdenek Zlamal in recent weeks. He’s fighting for his place back in the team but might not get the chance to reclaim the gloves now.
His loan deal runs out at the end of May and will return to Manchester United following this, should a new arrangement not be agreed.