The loan market is vital in Scotland with many sides propping up their squads by signing players from predominantly England on short-term temporary deals but these three have bucked that trend and look set to breakthrough at their clubs this season after highly successful spells away from Celtic, Motherwell and Rangers respectively.
Lewis Morgan spent a fruitful six months at Sunderland last season narrowly missing out on promotion back to the second tier of English football. Having worked with Sunderland manager Jack Ross before at St. Mirren it seemed a no-brainer that the tricky winger be allowed to leave on loan to the Stadium of Light in search of first team minutes. The 22-year-old contributed a goal every 209 minutes as he adapted well to a new league, club and level of football in such a short space of time. The winger will look to break into a side blessed with a few proven wingers in James Forrest, Scott Sinclair and Johnny Hayes as well as those in a similar position to Morgan like Maryan Shved, Daniel Arzani, Mikey Johnston, Luca Connell and Karamoko Dembele. It’s a crowded field but given his decent spell down South he could be ready to impress at Parkhead.
Another player who looks to have benefitted from a temporary spell in League One is Rangers all-action midfielder Greg Docherty. Having being named as Shrewsbury‘s player of the season last year it looks like it could be time for the 22-year-old to become a key player in Steven Gerrard’s side. It’s ironic that Rangers’ central midfielders were lacking goals last season at the same time Docherty was banging in 10 goals in a highly profitable spell for the former Hamilton man. Like Morgan, Docherty will be fighting it out with more experienced players but if he can replicate his form from last season then there’s no reason why he can’t establish himself at Ibrox.
Unlike Morgan and Docherty Motherwell’s Barry Maguire stayed in Scotland and turned out for Championship strugglers Queen of the South last season. Maguire was one of the few bright sparks at a club that just stayed up thanks to a Stephen Dobbie masterclass against Montrose in the relegation play-offs. The 21-year-old looked wise beyond his years as a ball-playing central defender and will absolutely suit Motherwell’s new-found liquid football style and thrive in an atmosphere that has natured talents like Allan Campbell, Jake Hastie and David Turnbull in the last couple of seasons.
It’ll be interesting to see how these three get on in the Premiership next season for their parent clubs after profitable spells away where they doubtless learnt a lot.