The 2021/22 Scottish Premiership season is almost upon us. Action begins on July 31st as almost 10 months of drama prepares to have its first act written.

Hibs will look to retain their third place spot but Aberdeen may have something to say about that. Dundee and Hearts are back in the Premiership while St Johnstone will be feared after their League Cup and Scottish Cup double exploits last term.

Players will shine as is always the case and here’s one man to look for at each club.

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian - Scottish Cup: First Semi-Final

Hearts are back to challenge Hibs. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Aberdeen – Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

Eyebrows were raised when Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass signed the 30-year-old forward from Livingston. But he has shone in Aberdeen’s opening Europa Conference League games and looks a great foil for fellow new signing Christian Ramirez.

Dundee – Paul McMullan

McMullan was outstanding for Dundee in their quest to get promoted from the Championship, grabbing 14 assists since leaving Dundee United for Dens Park in January. Now he’ll have to prove he’s capable of delivering at Premiership level.

Dundee United – Charlie Mulgrew

The former Scotland centre-back’s career has gone full circle. Mulgrew has returned to the club he spent a spell on loan at in 2006 and will look to provide experience to new Dundee United head coach Thomas Courts’ backline. Has he still got the required goods for Scotland’s top-flight?

Russia vs Scotland - UEFA 2020 Qualifying round

Back in the fold. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Hearts – Liam Boyce

Boyce was signed as a marquee Premiership striker for Hearts – just three months before the Tynecastle club were demoted to the Championship. He’s netted 21 times in 43 games for Robbie Neilson’s Hearts and double figures will be the target in the top-flight.

Hibs – Daniel Mackay

Signed from Inverness, the winger scored in a friendly win over Arsenal and grabbed his first European goal for Hibs this week against Santa Coloma in the Conference League. Still only 20, Mackay has shown potential to thrive in the top-flight after almost 100 appearances in the lower leagues.

 

Livingston – Nicky Devlin

There’s been a huge overhaul in players at Livingston and now Devlin’s seniority in the dressing room has increased. The right-back was briefly spoken about for Scotland contention last season and will be a key contributor for manager David Martindale.

Nicky Devlin in action for Livingston

Key player. (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Motherwell – Liam Donnelly

The Northern Irish midfielder has not played a Premiership game since the first day of last season against Ross County. A knee injury has kept him out of league action throughout the pandemic but has shown bright glimpses in the Premier Sports Cup matches.

Ross County – Alexander Robertson

The 18-year-old is spending the season at Ross County as a Manchester City loanee. He has trained with Pep Guardiola’s first-team as recently as last season and this is the midfielder’s first foray into senior football.

St Johnstone – Ali McCann

There’s several teams scouting and looking at McCann after his contributions to St Johnstone’s historic 20/21 campaign. He’ll be keen to show why he’s rated as one of the SPFL’s best central midfielders.

St Mirren – Curtis Main

This is Main’s third crack at Scottish football after a return south of the border to Shrewsbury Town, following stints at Motherwell and Aberdeen. He has shown willing to work and succeed in his early matches but adding goals will be key.

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