Luke McCowan is Dundee’s “driving force” this season.
The 25-year-old former Ayr United man has been excellent on his return to top-flight football.
He was denied three times by Hibs goalie David Marshall last weekend as he aimed to top up his scoring record of two goals this season.
It wasn’t to be in front of goal but the quality on show from McCowan has plenty across the Premiership taking notice.
Those two goals have been strikes of the highest quality, too – the first a sensational lob to earn a 1-0 win over Hearts and the second a wonderful free-kick to notch the same result against Livingston.
McCowan, though, is playing in a new position for the Dark Blues.
Throughout his time at Dens Park, he’s mainly been used as a winger or No 10.
Now, though, he’s making himself undroppable in the centre of Dundee’s engine room.
That home clash with the Jambos was his first taste of central midfield action this season – since then the Dark Blues have lost just four games in 11.
And his manager Tony Docherty is delighted to see McCowan bring his attacking talents on a consistent basis but also do the dirty side of the game, too.
“He’s a real driving force for us,” Docherty said of McCowan.
“Luke and Lyall Cameron were really positive for us on Saturday.
“But Luke gets into areas where he is a real goal threat. He had a brilliant shot and then another good chance.
“He’s such a fit lad and doesn’t just do the attacking side of things.
“The distances the three in the middle of the park (McCowan, Cameron and Malachi Boateng) get through, the amount of work they put in is exemplary.”
The move to central midfield isn’t just by chance, however.
Docherty revealed the summer training camp in Ireland brought a taste of things to come.
Late on against Fleetwood Town, McCowan was moved into central midfield and hit the headlines with an incredible “48-yard” lob.
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) July 8, 2023
“We saw a wee glimmer of it when we played Fleetwood in pre-season,” Docherty revealed.
“We played him in the middle of the park just to get a wee look at him.
“And we thought ‘oof, he’s got the tools and the attributes to do this’.
“Since he’s went in there he’s been outstanding. Long may that continue.
“He works so hard at his game and deserves any plaudits he gets.
“He’s seeing the benefits of his hard work.
“Luke is very demanding of himself and has really high standards, I love that.
“It borders on being too hard on himself but I love his drive.”