Economic activity

Five Premiership loans made permanent as Celtic, Rangers, Hibs and Hearts deals assessed

Hearts have reportedly opted out of a permanent move for Ben Woodburn, while Celtic are still working on deals for Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers.

It made us think of previous loans to Scottish clubs which were later made permanent.

It’s always good to “try before you buy” so you can take a closer look at what you would get.

Although there is always the risk that a good spell will alert other suitors.

That’s why it can be useful to have an option to buy included, as Ange Postecoglou did with the Portuguese winger and the American defender.

Anyway, here are our assessments of five other loans made permanent in Scottish football.

Fraser Forster (from Southampton to Celtic)

Fraser Forster

Celtic have fairly recent success thanks to such a move in the form of Fraser Forster.

The 6ft 7in keeper was loaned out by Newcastle in 2010 and played in all but two league games in his debut season, breaking a clean sheet record and winning the Scottish Cup.

This persuaded the Hoops to tie him up for a further season and this time he was part of a title-winning side and played in the Europa League.

A £2million fee was then paid to make the move permanent and Forster stayed on for another two seasons winning two more leagues and another Scottish Cup.

He eventually moved to Southampton for £10million but returned to Parkhead on loan in 2019.

All in all, a successful loan made permanent.

Martin Boyle (Dundee to Hibs)

Looking back, Hibs won’t believe their luck in securing Boyle on loan from Dundee and then on a permanent basis.

It was initially a trade deal for Alex Harris, whose once-promising Hibees career had stalled. The Easter Road men definitely got the better of the deal.

The winger proved to be a useful option and that persuaded them to make him their own player.

He became much more than that and became a talismanic figure throughout his seven years in Leith.

So much so that it was a hammer blow when he moved on a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia in January, and they really suffered on the pitch without him.

Scott Allan (Celtic to Hibs)

Allan was of course already a Hibs player when he returned on loan from Celtic for the second half of the 2017-18 season, so they knew what they were getting.

He settled back in and scored three goals between January and the end of the season. Despite the fact that he returned to Celtic Park for a full season between two free signings, we’re still counting that.

He scored the winning goal against St Mirren in his first game and continued to be a key player in green.

However, medical issues reduced his influence from his second season onwards – although he continued to show fleeting glimpses of his abilities.

The 30-year-old is now a free agent and is leaving the club this summer.

Ianis Hagi (from Genk to Rangers)

The Romanian arrived at Ibrox with a great reputation – partly thanks to his famous father but also because of his own abilities.

It was just a six-month loan with an option to buy, and Hagi made 13 appearances during that time.

He did enough though, particularly with two goals in Europe, and it persuaded Steven Gerrard to shell out a hefty fee for him.

A brilliant 2020/21 season followed, with eight goals and 13 assists in all competitions.

The last campaign was a bit more disrupted by injuries, but the 23-year-old remains an important player for the Light Blues.

Steven Naismith (of Norwich at Hearts)

Eyebrows were raised when Naismith joined Hearts, due to the player’s pedigree and mammoth salaries.

Returning to Scottish football for the first time since leaving Rangers, he lived up to expectations, including scoring an Edinburgh derby winner.

Jambos fans were desperate to see him back and got their wish after an anxious wait in the summer of 2018 for another loan move.

He was eventually released by the Canaries the following year and signed for Tynecastle on a free transfer.

Despite the problems at the club, Naismith was seen as a central figure, becoming captain and assisting young players.

He is now coaching them in his role as Under-18 manager.

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