Approaching every transfer window I try to compile a ‘live’ blog post detailing our current squad, contract situations and signings. In recent years this has been a very busy time of the season for United but I have a feeling that January 2020 will be much quieter. This is a great thing.
It isn’t great for people wanting a constant stream of news from Tannadice but it is a great thing for stability. Gone are the days of multi-buys and group signing photographs (see below), and that should be welcomed by all of us. There will be no Alex Nicholls-esque desperation move on the last day of the window this year and for that we must rejoice. The club are in a secure position and on we are on a positive path meaning our transfer policy is much more methodical (it also helps that our league position is so strong).
As we progress into the second-half of the season, one big challenge with regards to signings is the balance between making one or two positive additions to boost our title hopes but also us keeping one eye on the quality of player who will serve us well if/when we get promoted. We should only be identifying talent that can lift our squad for the top-flight and that means we may look at one or two pre-contracts in January and maybe then loan market for the remaining league fixtures.
One further difficult set of decisions for Tony Asghar and Robbie Neilson to make will be the immediate future of those out of contract in June. As you will see from the list below, we currently have a small number of players who can sign pre-contracts with other clubs in January and may well leave in June at the end of their deal. Some will be seen as having reached their level, some will be given a chance to prove themselves in the Premiership (if we get there). We probably have quite a few players who are very much on the verge of being good enough to have that opportunity but who also are maybe just about at the level of being good in the Championship but maybe not quite good enough for the Premiership.
My own preference for this January? Possibly a winger or two to give us some additional fire power (and to relieve some pressure on McMullan). Maybe another central player in the mould of Butcher might also help. I think we are reasonably well covered in defence but looking at the bench in recent games we do feel a little light in the attacking midfield area (especially if Neilson does not want to use people like Cammy Smith or Adrian Sporle).
As always, this post will be updated as and when things happen. I won’t be posting anything about rumours or speculation but any club news, transfer news and contract news will mean the page being updated.
Current First Team Squad
Benji Siegrist – Contracted until June 2022
Deniz Mehmet – Contracted until June 2021
Josh Donaldson – Contracted until June 2020 (on-loan at Civil Service Strollers)
Jamie Robson – Contracted until June 2022
Sam Wardrop – Contracted until June 2020 (on-loan at Dumbarton)
Mark Reynolds – Contracted until June 2022
Paul Watson – Contracted until June 2020
Mark Connolly – Contracted until June 2021
Liam Smith – Contracted until June 2021
Adrian Sporle – Contracted until June 2022
Ross Graham – Contracted until June 2022 (on-loan at Elgin City)
Troy Brown – Released
Kieran Freeman – Contracted until June 2020
Paul McMullan – Contracted until June 2021
Sam Stanton – Signed for Pheonix Rising (USA)
Calum Butcher – Contracted until June 2023
Cammy Smith – Contracted until January 2021 (on-loan at Dundalk)
Ian Harkes – Contracted until January 2021
Peter Pawlett – Contracted until June 2021
Adam King – Contracted until June 2022
Declan Glass – Contracted until June 2022
Scott Banks – Signed for Crystal Palace
Logan Chalmers – Contracted until June 2022 (on-loan at Arbroath)
Chris Mochrie – Contracted until June 2020
Dillon Powers – Contracted until June 2021
Osman Sow – Contracted until June 2020
Nicky Clark – Contracted until June 2021 (contract extension)
Lawrence Shankland – Contracted until June 2022
Louis Appere – Contracted until June 2022
Matty Smith – Signed for Dundalk
Behind The Scenes
Chairman – Mark Ogren
Board Members – Jimmy Fyffe, David Dorward
Managing Director – Mal Brannigan
Sporting Director – Tony Asghar
Head Coach – Robbie Neilson
Assistant Head Coach – Gordon Forrest
Assistant Head Coach – Lee McCulloch
Goalkeeping Coach – Neil Alexander
Head of Recruitment – David Byrne
Academy Director – Andy Goldie
Senior Academy Head Coach – Adam Asghar
Head of Academy Talent ID & Recruitment – Jordan Moore
Head of Player Pathway and Loans – Brian Grant
Head of Medicine – Marcin Szostak
1st Team Assistant Therapist – Jordan Cleland
Academy Physio – Jeff Clarke
Head of Sport Science – Gary Dempsey
Head of Analysis & Opposition Scouting – Stevie Grieve
The first bit of news from this window is the official return of Osman Sow and Declan Glass from their loan spells. For Glass you would assume that he will be given an opportunity to shine, given his superb form for Cove Rangers. As for Sow, he cannot sign for another team given he has already played for us and Kilmarnock this season, so unless we cancel his deal he is with us until the end of the campaign. Will Neilson give the giant Swede another chance?
United sign Dillon Powers and Kieran Freeman – 10/01/20
Two signings made on the same day. Both Dillon Powers and Kieran Freeman were widely reported as being on trial at Tannadice and now both join on permanent deals.
A central midfielder, Powers, is someone who can operate as a box-to-box player but is more comfortable in defensive possession and in recycling the ball. Powers has signed until June 2021 so is part of our longer term plans. He has good experience and has spent his entire career in America where he played for Orlando City and Colorado Rapids.
Kieran Freeman was once a highly rated youngster at Tannadice but he chose to move to England and join Southampton a few seasons ago. Unfortunately he has suffered some bad injuries in recent seasons, so he has decided to return home and sign back with us. Initially his deal will run until the end of the season.
Nicky Clark Injured – 11/01/20
Normally I wouldn’t include information regarding an injury on a post like this but unfortunately Nicky Clark has suffered a season ending injury. He went in for a sliding challenge late in the game against Patrick Thistle and as a result he has broken a bone in his ankle that requires surgery. The club have confirmed that he will be out for the season but they have also confirmed that his contract extension should be signed this week.
I wish Nicky all the very best for his recovery.
Nicky Clark – Contract Extension – 19/1/20
It had long been reported, but only just confirmed, that Nicky Clark had signed a one-year extension at the club. A much deserved reward for someone who has been a consistent part of the team. Hopefully this helps boost his confidence as he starts his rehab.
Sam Stanton Leaves – 21/1/20
Sad news that Sam Stanton has left the club. I have long said on this blog that he is a player who has always had the backing of the fans and he was well liked. He was guilty of inconsistency but as a representative for United he carried himself very well and always came across as a positive and committed professional. All the best to him as he starts a new chapter in his career in America. Good luck Sam!
Scott Banks Leaves – 22/1/20
Another story that was continually in the news has now been confirmed. The young midfielder leaves Tannadice to join Crystal Palace in a deal that has included a transfer fee and some apparent additional clauses.
Sam Wardrop Joins Dumbarton On Loan
The defender, returning from a career threatening injury, re-joins Dumbarton on-loan, having spent time there before joining United. It is maybe the case that we have seen the last of him at Tannadice but I wish him all the best and hope that he can get his career back on track.
Youngster Jake Davidson has also gone out on loan, to Queens Park. He was previously with Spartans, so this move to Hampden will allow him to play at a higher level and in a fantastic setting. Hopefully this will help him develop.
As the transfer window closed we didn’t see any new signings, unlike in previous years. What we did see was the departure of Matty Smith (long expected) and Cammy Smith (also expected). This has left the squad looking a little thin and it was not helped with the confirmation that Osman Sow is out for the rest of the season, and has likely played his last game for the club.
Despite our huge lead, this is a bit of a gamble, and we will be hoping that no further injuries occur between now and the end of the campaign.
All information correct as of 3/02/20