The aim of this post is to provide a ‘live‘ feed of all the contract and transfer activity at Tannadice during the month of January. It will be updated as things are made official by the club.
At the time of writing it has just been announced that Scott Fraser is to be out for a number of months with a recurrence of his foot injury from last season.
When you add this to the current injury to Fraser Fyvie it makes things rather difficult for Csaba Laszlo going in to this January window. The manager had already been promised some money to spend but will this now be increased given the injuries to two of our most important players?
The other side to January is the possibility of some players signing pre-contract agreements with other clubs, and by association the decision will also need to be made to offer some players an extension to their current deal.
As things stand on the 31st of January the current picture looks like this –
Injury List –
Scott Fraser (end of the season)
Fraser Fyvie (end of the season)
Lewis Toshney (unknown)
Jordie Briels (unknown, rumoured to be out indefintitely)
William Edjenguele (unknown, rumoured to be remainder of the season)
James Keatings (unknown, ongoing injury problems)
Contract Situations –
Out of Contract in May (can sign pre-contracts as of 1/1/18) –
Harry Lewis (end of loan)
Thomas Mikkelsen (end of loan)
Craig Slater (end of loan)
Brandon Mason (end of loan)
Under Contract Until 2019
Sam Stanton (2020)
Transfers In – Craig Slater (Loan, Colchester United), Brandon Mason (Loan, Watford), Emil Lyng (KA, end of the season), Thomas Mikkelsen (Loan, Ross County), Sam Stanton (permanent contract, Hibs), Idris Kadded (Free Transfer), Logan Martin (Free Transfer), Grant Gillespie (Free Transfer)
Transfers Out – Jordan Hornby (released), Patrick N’Koyi (released), Joe Piggott (released), Graham Taylor (Edinburgh City, Loan), Harvey Dailly (released), Brett Long (Elgin City, Loan)
Update – 1/1/18 – Cammy Ballantyne has been recalled from Montrose and Jordan Hornby has left the club.
Update – 3/1/18 – Former Kilmarnock player Craig Slater joins the club on loan for the remainder of the season. Slater has spent the last year at Colchester United in English League Two.
Craig Slater Profile
Craig Slater started his career at St.Mirren in their youth setup. He signed for Kilmarnock in 2012 and made over 75 appearances for the club. Slater, who has 10 caps for Scotland at Under 21 level, was highly thought of at Kilmarnock and had previously been linked with Hearts and Aberdeen before moving to England. A technically gifted footballer, with great delivery from set-pieces, he should provide a great deal going forward in the midfield area and he is someone who will benefit from working under Laszlo. Slater’s strength is in recycling possession and he plays centrally so is in a similar mould to Sam Stanton in that respect which is key given the injuries to Fraser and Fyvie. There are slight concerns over his injury record but if he stays fit then he will be a very positive player for United and it is a good move to begin January’s transfer dealings.
Update – 5/1/18 – Paul Quinn has signs a contract extension until the end of the current season.
Update 5/1/18 – Fullback Brandon Mason signs on loan from Watford until the end of the season.
Brandon Mason Profile
Brandon Mason is 20-year-old English fullback who is currently contracted to Watford. Predominantly left-sided, Mason has played twice for the Hornets (once in the Premiership and once in the FA cup). He is a very attack minded defender who, despite not being the tallest, is willing to get stuck in and enjoys overlapping to provide width for the midfield.
The interesting thing in this signing is that he plays the same position as Jamie Robson. It was thought that a right-back would have been a priority, and maybe it still is, but Laszlo obviously sees the need for competition in the left-back area. Either that or is there something more to this regarding the future of Robson? A potential January move somewhere else? Maybe he plans on playing Robson or Mason on the right. Either way we know that the manager needs his fullbacks overlapping as much as possible so this should be a positive move as long as Mason can adapt quickly to first-team football.
Update 5/1/18 – Striker Emil Lyng signs until the end of the season.
Emil Lyng Profile
Emil Lyng is a 6’3 left sided winger/striker who has recently been playing in Iceland for KA. A hot prospect when he was younger the Dane moved from Aarhus in his homeland to France to play for Lille. He made his debut on 2008 but never managed to break into the first team. After spending a few seasons on loan at Zulte Waregem in Belgium and then FC Nordsjælland back home in Denmark, Lyng managed to find some stability, first at Esbjerg and then Silkeborg IF before moving to Iceland in 2017.
In terms of career stats the 28 year-old isn’t the most prolific of strikers but does enjoy cutting in from the left on to his stronger right foot. He has scored 17 goals in 73 total career appearances. Strong on the ball and a willing runner he has decent pace for a man his size.
As with any signing like this on paper he might not be the most exciting of new arrivals but United are never going to be in a position to attract players at their peak. I certainly trust Csaba Laszlo to get the best out of any player he works with so hopefully it will be the case for Lyng whilst he is at the club. Physically he fits the bill and he is has a decent amount of experience so hopefully he can add to the squad. It might be that he plays upfront with McDonald, Keatings and King behind him, or he can play on the wing as a wide target man. Unfortunately I wanted to embed a video of some highlights but you will have to watch it on Vimeo via the link HERE instead.
Update – 11/1/18 – Joe Piggott released by club. Goalkeeper Brett Long returns from loan spell at Cliftonville.
Update – 16/1/18 – Harvey Dailly has been released by the club and midfielder Graham Taylor has joined Edinburgh City on loan until the end of the season.
Update – 19/1/18 – Sam Stanton signs a permanent contract with the club. His deal runs until 2020.
Update – 19/1/18 – Thomas Mikkelsen returns to United until the end of the season.
Thomas Mikkelsen Profile
Well it is fairly straightforward to do a player profile for Thomas Mikkelsen as we have all seen him before! The Danish striker is probably someone who divides opinion but we do still need a tall presence in the forward area. Some United fans are quite critical if him but he came on to some decent form late last season and a period of time with Ross County will have helped him adapt his game so it should hopefully be a good signing for United. It also helps that he knows the squad, the club and the expectations of what is needed this season. Personally I think it is quite a positive move and it means we have more flexibility in our attacking areas.
Update – 20/1/18 – Goalkeeper Brett Long has joined Elgin city on loan until the end of the season. French youngster Idris Kadded has joined the club on a short term contract until the summer.
Player Profiles – Idris Kadded and Logan Martin
It is difficult to find information on both Logan Martin and Idris Kadded. Both are French, both are still very young and both are attack minded midfielders (with Kadded also having the ability to play on the wing or as a striker). Martin has a bit more pedigree having appeared in the UEFA Youth League and Italian Youth League (with Benfica and Genoa respectively) but Kadded has played fewer gams at youth level. Both seem to have a good footballing background with Kadded training at Troyes, Nice and Vaulx-en-Velin (a subsidiary of Lyon). Again it is the case that Logan Martin has a better pedigree with the well travelled youngster having previously played for Cannes, Benfica and Genoa.
On paper these two French youngsters are maybe not what most fans would have wanted. They are untested, inexperienced and are a risk at a time when we can’t really afford to take any. They may well turn out to be useful additions to the squad but can we really rely on two unknown French players to make the difference? Only time will tell.
Update – 31/1/18 – Defensive midfielder Grant Gillespie joins on a free until the summer.
Player Profile – Grant Gillespie
Midfielder Gillespie recently left Hamilton after making 200 appearances for the club he spent his entire career with. The 26-year old is predominately a defensive midfielder but was also shoe-horned into right-back later on in his Hamilton career. A solid and reliable player he adds further depth to the midfield which may see someone like Sam Stanton or Craig Slater moving further forward. He is a decent enough signing but with it just being a 5 month contract it might just be a stop-gap and that is maybe not what we really need at the moment.