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Dundee transfer targets: What do Dark Blues need this summer?

Manager Tony Docherty is gearing up for a busy summer.

Dundee boss Tony Docherty on the sidelines carrying a folder
Dundee FC boss Tony Docherty. Image: SNS

Dundee’s return to Premiership football was a strong one.

Now Tony Docherty is tasked with shaping his squad for a second tilt at the top flight.

Could it be, as they say, the difficult second album?

Or more upward progress at Dens Park?

Recruitment has been impressive so far under Docherty and will need to be again this summer.

Dee players celebrate sealing a top-six finish at Aberdeen. Who will be Dundee’s transfer targets this summer? Image: Shutterstock

But what do Dundee need? And what do they want?


The Dark Blues are well stocked between the sticks. But there are question marks over all three goalkeepers right now.

Carson was clearly brought in to be No 1 last summer and when he’s been fit, he’s been it.

However, since the turn of the year he’s struggled with a knee injury and missed the final 11 matches of the campaign.

Harry Sharp, meanwhile, is at an age where he could do with some game time and may head back out on loan this season.

And we haven’t seen Adam Legzdins in action since going off early in a Scottish Cup defeat with Jon McCracken being brought in by Docherty not long afterwards.

That’s twice now McCracken has been signed on loan by Docherty. Now, though, he is a free agent after being released by Norwich City and both sides are open to a third reunion.

Another goalkeeper isn’t critical for Dundee but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

In squad: Trevor Carson, Harry Sharp, Adam Legzdins

Targets: Jon McCracken


Joe Shaughnessy on crutches
Dundee skipper Joe Shaughnessy will be missing for the start of next season. Image: SNS

Dundee have plenty of options at centre-back but it’s an area to improve upon.

Last season, the Dark Blues conceded far too many leads and far too many goals overall to be sustainable.

It’s likely skipper Joe Shaughnessy will also be missing for around half the upcoming season as he recovers from a cruciate ligament injury.

Docherty has said Ryan Astley will get more of a chance next season while Ricki Lamie was in and out of the team last term.

Lee Ashcroft will be back fit for the start of pre-season but it remains to be seen if he’ll be content at playing a backup role again this time around.

Antonio Portales
Antonio Portales has been an almost ever-present for Dundee when fit. Image: SNS

Jordan McGhee can play there but excelled at right wing-back last season. Antonio Portales was a regular when fit and will no doubt continue that.

If Docherty’s main plan is to go with a back three, he’d ideally want six options to cover absences.

With Shaughnessy out and McGhee on the right, that leaves four senior options plus youngster Luke Graham.

So expect that position to be a key place to strengthen this summer.

In squad: Joe Shaughnessy, Ricki Lamie, Antonio Portales, Ryan Astley, Lee Ashcroft, Jordan McGhee, Luke Graham.


Owen Beck made it 2-1 after a fine first half for Dundee FC. Image: Shutterstock/David Young
Finding another Owen Beck could prove tricky. Image: Shutterstock/David Young

Full-back or wing-back is also a very important position to strengthen, particularly on the left side.

Owen Beck was a huge influence from that position last season. However, with he, Owen Dodgson and Aaron Donnelly all heading back to parent clubs Dundee don’t have any players for that position right now.

McGhee has stepped across there, so has Cammy Kerr on occasion, but that’s definitely a position in need of filling.

Docherty has already shown his desire to add at full-back after taking Dutchman Robin Lathouwers on trial for the final week of the season.

Robin Lathouwers
Robin Lathouwers joined the club for the final week of the season and gives an indication of the kind of Dundee transfer target wanted at full-back. Image: Broer van den Boom/Shutterstock

Usually a right-back, the 24-year-old can also play on the left. Lathouwers has been described as a speedy and aggressive player who can help in both attack and defence.

Whether or not a deal is done for the former AZ Alkmaar kid remains to be seen. However, it gives us an indication of Docherty’s plans this summer.

Club stalwart Kerr, meanwhile, will return from loan at Inverness but will struggle to displace McGhee at right wing-back.

In squad: Jordan McGhee, Cammy Kerr, Josh Mulligan

Targets: Robin Lathouwers

Central midfield

Lyall Cameron and Luke McCowan celebrate at Dens Park - the pair had brilliant seasons for Dundee. Image: David Young/Shutterstock
Lyall Cameron and Luke McCowan celebrate at Dens Park – the pair had brilliant seasons for Dundee. Image: David Young/Shutterstock

The most consistent part of Dundee’s team last season was the midfield trio of Mo Sylla, Luke McCowan and Lyall Cameron.

All three remain at the club, of course, but Malachi Boateng has now left while Max Anderson will return after a season at Inverness.

As it stands, central midfield is strong. However, such has been the impact of McCowan and Cameron this season, it is likely Dundee’s resolve to keep them will be tested by other clubs.

And it wouldn’t hurt to replace Boateng.

In squad: Mo Sylla, Lyall Cameron, Luke McCowan, Josh Mulligan, Fin Robertson, Max Anderson

Wide midfield/wingers

Dundee attacker Charlie Reilly. Image: SNS
Dundee attacker Charlie Reilly is back after a loan at Arbroath. Image: SNS

This is an area of the squad where Dundee are short. However, they rarely played with wingers last season.

Scott Tiffoney would be the choice in this position but was utilised in a front two alongside Amadou Bakayoko more often last term.

Charlie Reilly is back and will hope his injury hell is behind him. There are other options but would involve moving McCowan or Cameron from their strongest positions.

The likelihood is if a wide player is on the shopping list, it will be a versatile one who can slot in elsewhere.

In squad: Charlie Reilly, Scott Tiffoney, Luke McCowan, Lyall Cameron, Josh Mulligan


Bruce Anderson
Bruce Anderson is a Dundee transfer target this summer. Image: SNS

Last season, Dundee scored more goals than previous Dee sides. However, there were also games where it was clear that more quality in forward areas could have turned losses into draws and draws into wins.

Bakayoko and Zach Robinson each scored six goals while Curtis Main didn’t get any and Diego Pineda was rarely used.

Michael Mellon, too, is back at Burnley. Though bringing him back as part of the Burnley link-up is a move Dundee are keen on.

They need more goals from the front players and a desire to bring in Bruce Anderson this summer has already shown Docherty is working on bringing in just that.

In squad: Curtis Main, Scott Tiffoney, Zak Rudden, Diego Pineda

Targets: Bruce Anderson, Amadou Bakayoko, Michael Mellon