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BIG KICK-OFF: George Cran’s five Dundee players to watch in the Championship this season

Charlie Adam made his competitive debut for Dundee in Brora last weekend.
Charlie Adam made his competitive debut for Dundee in Brora last weekend.

The Championship kicks off with the battle of the big guns this weekend as Dundee head to Hearts under the Friday night lights.

It’s been a long wait for the Dens Park club with their last league game back on March 10 and a tough summer for Dees to endure.

But there are some new faces to watch out for this season – and some older ones keen to do damage for the Dark Blues in the Championship.

Here’s five who could make the difference in James McPake’s title tilt.

Charlie Adam

Charlie Adam is set to make his league debut for Dundee at Tynecastle on Friday night.

Where else to start but the man every Dundee fan has wanted to see turn up at Dens for years now?

The 26-times capped Scotland international has more than 200 English Premier League appearances to his name for Blackpool, Liverpool and Stoke and has arrived at his boyhood club with more than a career wind-down in mind.

He also has a second-tier winner’s medal in his trophy cabinet from his time on loan at St Mirren from Rangers and would dearly like to make that two with the Dark Blues.

Back in 05/06, a young Adam took the First Division by storm and 15 years later, the 34-year-old from Fintry has his more experienced eyes set on more of the same.

The biggest shame is there won’t be fans there to see his home debut against Morton next weekend.

Date signed: September 15, 2020

International appearances: 26 caps

Club career appearances: 488 (89 goals)

Graham Dorrans

Graham Dorrans celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during the Betfred Cup match between Brora Rangers and Dundee at Dudgeon Park.

Another player who boasts a sensational CV with 142 English Premier League appearances for West Brom and Norwich to his name.

The 33-year-old has been in superb form during pre-season for Dundee, looking very sharp and saying he’s as fit as he’s been in years after a full pre-season.

Dorrans joined the Dark Blues at the start of last campaign as he made his return from a long-term injury that had plagued his time at Rangers.

He showed his undoubted ability last year but his early displays this time around promise much more from the former Scotland international midfielder.

With 38 caps and 349 Premier League appearances between them, the Championship has likely never seen a midfield pairing like Dorrans and Adam.

Date signed: September 20, 2019

Dundee appearances: 24

Goals: 2

International appearances: 12

Career club appearances: 406 (67 goals)

Alex Jakubiak

Alex Jakubiak has missed the last few weeks with an ankle knock. Pic: David Young.

After nine loans from former parent club Watford, ex-Scotland U/19 international Jakubiak is looking for a club to call home.

And the frontman has plans on that being Dundee after signing a two-year deal over the summer.

He may not have been too well-known to Dees when he arrived at the club but has experience of the Scottish game after a spell last season at St Mirren and a previous campaign at Falkirk.

The 24-year-old finished that season in the Championship equal top scorer for the Bairns on seven goals and has shown briefly in his time at Dens he’s a player who can make things happen.

Jakubiak may not be a prolific goal-scorer but he impressed last season in the top flight with the Buddies and there are high hopes for the same at Dens Park this time around.

Date signed: August 5, 2020

Career club appearances: 162 (28 goals)

Jordan Marshall

Jordan Marshall celebrates with Paul McGowan against Partick Thistle last season.

The relentless full-back suffered a long-term muscle injury at the start of the year that ruled him out of the end of 2019/20 but returned in last weekend’s Betfred Cup clash at Brora Rangers.

Well experienced in the Championship after four years at Queen of the South, Marshall’s work-rate and ability at both ends of the park endeared him to the Dens Park support.

A clear spell from injury will surely cement that even further this term as the Dark Blues go in search of promotion.

The 24-year-old will be a key man, whether as wing-back or a traditional full-back, in defence and supporting the attack.

Date signed: June 18, 2019

Dundee appearances: 24

Career club appearances: 189 (3 goals)

Jonathan Afolabi

Jonathan Afolabi takes on Peterhead in pre-season. Pic: David Young.

Snapped up from Celtic on a season-long loan, young striker Afolabi has already made an impact at Dens Park in pre-season.

Smashing in a fine long-range effort on his first outing for the club in a friendly against Peterhead, Afolabi promises much this campaign.

The 20-year-old has experience, however fleeting, of the Championship after a brief loan spell at Dunfermline last term where he scored twice in six matches.

Only just into double figures for senior club appearances, the Dubliner still has plenty to learn and the Dark Blues are keen to give him the chance to do just that at Dens Park.

He missed the Betfred Cup clash in the Highlands last week while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland U/21s, coming off the bench in a 2-0 defeat to Italy.

Date signed: September 29, 2020

Career club appearances: 11 (2 goals)

Caniggia: The exciting new documentary Dundee FC fans won’t want to miss

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