All supporters love the return of a former player. With the seemingly likely return of Steven Davis to Rangers, we are taking a look at five other former SPFL players that clubs would probably love to have back.
While we are sure Celtic would take back Andrew Robertson in a heartbeat, and Aberdeen would snap Bournemouth’s hand off for Ryan Fraser – we are going out on a limb to say that’s just about impossible (At least for now). So we will be looking at options that are at least semi-reasonable.
Not many could blame Youssouf Mulumbu for making the move to Celtic Park this summer – Okay, many Kilmarnock fans might – at 31 years old, and soon to be 32, making a change that has likely gotten the Congolese a far larger salary is understandable.
With that said, Mulumbu probably did think he’d get the opportunity to make more of an impact under Brendan Rodgers than he has. After rejuvenating his career at Rugby Park, making fourteen league appearances having made his debut last December, Mulumbu has made just three appearances for the league champions – with just one in the league.
Mulumbu is still under contract until next summer, but with Celtic clearly wanting to improve their squad during this transfer window, it wouldn’t be out of the question that they’d look to offload underused players such as Mulumbu. Having signed him for free, potentially Celtic may part with Mulumbu either this window or in the summer for a small profit.
Killie will surely have to be at the front of the line should their former midfielder become available. However, Gary Dicker and Allan Power have secured regular central midfield places in the Killie side, with Steve Clarke this year favouring playing both Eamon Brophy and Greg Stewart as a type of striker partnership – so it’s maybe unlikely that Clarke would sanction the return of Mulumbu, who’d be on high wages and be a third central midfielder over 30 in a team that currently only utilises two at a time.
Peter Pawlett will of course be mostly remembered for the long period he spent at Aberdeen, having come through the youth system. However, Aberdeen is not the club we are suggesting may be interested in the onetime Scotland call-up. Instead, potentially Tommy Wright’s St Johnstone might take a punt on Pawlett, whose move down south hasn’t worked out the way he may have hoped.
This suggestion comes, not necessarily from Pawlett’s time at MacDiarmid Park – where he made nine appearances, assisting twice (Although that spell often is credited as being crucial in his development) but from the fact the ex-don is an experienced and previously successful player in the league.
In his time at Pittodrie, Pawlett made over 200 appearances, scoring 20 times and making another 19 goals – the majority coming in a concentrated fantastic run of performances during the early years of Derek Mcinnes’s reign. Pawlett has also shown he can play wide on either wing or as a number ten.
Pawlett has struggled for game time this season at the club he moved to from Pittodrie, MK Dons. Mostly down to injury, he has only taken to the pitch four times and with MK second in the League Two table, a successful side is never an easy one to get back into after a long injury layoff.
Pawlett’s contract is up this summer and should he become available on a free, a return to Scotland could be on the cards and he’d certainly appear to suit St Johnstone.
Slightly cheating on this one, it’s basically confirmed that should the former Scotland international prove his fitness, McCormack could be lined up for a return to Fir Park, where he spent the two years between 2006 and 2008.
Seen recently watching former club Motherwell in action, McCormack is a proven goal scorer, having scored 164 goals across his career, and also providing a threat of assists, notching 71. Unfortunately for the 13 time Scotland cap, who has spent a large part of his time in England, his career has been tumultuous in recent years.
A 12 million pound deal in August 2016 to recently relegated Aston Villa was thought to have been McCormack’s chance to get in the English Premiership. Having struggled at Villa Park, McCormack has had two loan spells away from the club and since the signing has only scored four Championship goals.
McCormack has however had some success in Australia where he has been on loan to first Melbourne City FC and now to Central Coast Mariners. Although injury has once again marred the current loan spell at Mariners.
The reaction to the suggestions of such a deal have been positive from Well fans and having seen McCormack previously score eight goals and help with six assists in a previous spell at Fir Park just makes supporters more keen.
Probably the most unrealistic one we are suggesting – Jayden Stockley will not be returning to Pittodrie, but many dandies are probably feeling like they judged him a bit too soon, given the transfer fee it appears the Englishman will be going for.
Probably most known across other clubs in Scotland as the guy that ruined Kieran Tierney’s face in the 2017 Scottish Cup Final – or confusing folk as to the fact that he didn’t just change his name to Sam Cosgrove, Stockley struggled for regular minutes under Derek Mcinnes.
Stockley made 39 appearances across four competitions during his one season in Scotland, although plenty of those were as a substitute. Scoring six goals that season, Stockley certainly isn’t the worst striker to pass through Pittodrie in recent years – Nicky Maynard, Miles Storey and Calvin Zola are part of the competing pack – but it was his elbows that actually became the biggest point of frustration for Dons supporters. Stockley was sent off three times that season, and in most views, should have seen red in the Scottish Cup Final too.
Having moved back to Exeter City in the summer of 2017, Stockley has scored 37 goals in a year and a half for the League Two side. He has now completed a move to Championship side Preston North End for an undisclosed fee – which Aberdeen will reportedly get 20% of the profit of due to a sell on clause, so potentially it has worked out fairly well for the Dons.
Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam has been linked with a move to former employers Rangers, but with Steven Davis seemingly on his way to Ibrox, the former Scotland international might not be sought by the club. Adam is also apparently wanted by Hearts, but he could make a greater impact by returning to a club which he spent part of his youth career with – Dundee.
The former Blackpool and Liverpool player has made just three league appearances in the Championship for Stoke City this season, with the last coming in October. His contract is to finish this summer, but rumour has it that Adam could be freed this January.
While the midfielder’s wages might be considered an issue, Adam himself has recently stated that he would be willing to take a pay cut to move to the right club and for the right opportunity.
Adam recently told the BBC:
“It’s not about the money”
“It’s about coming and showing that you’re still at the levels that everyone thinks you’re at by making a difference to a team”
While Hearts are probably the favourites to secure Adam’s signature, with Adam speaking glowingly about former Scotland boss Craig Levein, he could be crucial in helping hometown club Dundee avoid relegation.
Which former player of your club are you desperate to see return? Let us know on twitter @NE98FT