It was a big summer of change at Dens as Dundee boss Neil McCann put his own stamp on the squad with 10 new arrivals. Several months on, football writer Neil Robertson takes a look at how they’ve done and whether they are a hit, a miss or a maybe.
Scott Allan – Maybe
The midfielder was McCann’s first signing of the summer on a season-long loan from Celtic. Big things were expected of the former Dundee United player but he has struggled to make an impact, being hampered with a groin injury that required surgery. He is back in the fold now and gave a glimpse of what he is capable of with his sublime pass for Mark O’Hara’s winner against Rangers two Fridays ago. Once Allan is fully up to speed once again, he could yet prove to be a key player for Dundee this season.
Roarie Deacon – Hit
The winger followed close on the heels of Allan through the front door at Dens but there were few in the waiting press pack who knew a great deal about Deacon. However, the former Sutton United player is now one of the first names on McCann’s team-sheet. He has produced some sparkling performances for the Dark Blues although I sense there is more to come from the 26-year-old, particularly in terms of goals.
Lewis Spence – Hit
More than a few eyebrows were raised when McCann signed the 21-year-old. Having fallen out of favour at Dunfermline, the midfielder was due to sign for part-time Brechin but the Dens boss, who knew him from his time coaching with the Pars, nipped in to snap him up. Spence was handed his league debut for the club against Rangers at Ibrox and never looked back although he is currently sidelined after having ankle surgery.
Randy Wolters – Miss
The Dutchman came highly recommended by his fellow countrymen and McCann’s former Rangers team-mates Arthur Numan and Ronald de Boer. That persuaded the Dundee boss to award Wolters a two-year contract but he has failed to nail down a place in the team and has not featured at all since the defeat against Hamilton at Dens back on October 28.
Jack Hendry – Hit
Big things were expected of Hendry when he moved from Partick to English outfit Wigan back in 2015. However the move did not work out and he returned north to join Dundee with a determination to get his career back on track. He has done that and more with the 22-year-old centre-half becoming a key player for McCann. Big, strong and comfortable on the ball, Hendry even received praise from Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers who tipped him as a future Scotland cap.
Glen Kamara – Hit
It could easily be argued that Hendry was McCann’s top signing of the summer but I believe Kamara just shades it. The former Arsenal Academy midfielder has been outstanding for Dundee. He just goes quietly about his business but the Finnish international is an undoubted class act. Unfortunately, I would be astonished if his performances have not been noticed at bigger clubs elsewhere.
Sofien Moussa – Maybe
The big Tunisian striker would have been a “miss” if it hadn’t been for his performance leading the line against Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday. It was without doubt the 29-year-old’s best game in the top flight but he has to produce that form on a consistent basis.
Elliott Parish – Hit
When he signed, it was difficult to see how the Englishman was going to depose Scott Bain as the No.1 keeper at the club. Of course, with Bain now out in the cold due to an ongoing disciplinary process, Parish has come in and seized his chance with both his big mitts. Two clean sheets in his last three games say it all about the impact he has had.
Josh Meekings – Hit
The former Inverness centre-half had been out with a long-term injury when McCann granted him training facilities at Dens. The manager then gave him a contract when he proved his fitness and he made his Dundee debut in the intimidating atmosphere of Celtic Park. The 25-year-old has not looked back since.
A-Jay Leitch-Smith – Maybe
The on-loan Shrewsbury Town striker has scored four goals for the Dark Blues since making his debut at Ibrox back in September. However, he has barely featured recently and was an unused sub against the Staggies. His deal at Dens ends in January and it remains to be seen whether McCann will try to extend it.
Jon Aurtenetxe – Maybe
The former Athletic Bilbao full-back was a surprise signing at the end of August. The Spaniard had to be patient and did not make his debut until October 28 as a sub against Hamilton. However, Aurtenetxe has started the last three games at the expense of long-time left-back Kevin Holt. Full judgement will have to be withheld though until he has more games under his belt.