It’s going to be a summer of signings for Dundee United as they attempt to build a squad capable of getting out of the Championship.
As many as 17 new faces from goalkeepers to strikers are expected to come through the doors at Tannadice as manager Csaba Laszlo, aided by club legend Paul Sturrock, completely revamp the home dressing-room.
That’s likely to see a mix of youth and experience as well as some exciting talent arriving right up until the end of the transfer window in August.
One United old boy, though, believes Laszlo and Luggy might already have made their most important signing.
The former player is Stuart Duff and the capture he believes could be more significant than any other is that of existing employee Fraser Fyvie.
The midfielder’s campaign in the season just ended was ruined by a knee problem suffered at Christmas. Prior to that the Tangerines were unbeaten in 15 of 16 league games he played.
With the 25-year-old set to return around the start of the new season, Duff believes it was vital United beat off interest from Championship rivals Ross County to get him fixed up on a new two-year contract. Having known him since he was a kid at Aberdeen the best part of a decade ago, Duff is well placed to judge what he can do.
“I actually watched one of United’s play-off games with Fraser and from speaking to him I know he is working hard to get back fit,” he said.
“He’s about to start running again so it shouldn’t be too long before he is back. That, and him signing a new deal, is very good news for United.
“You saw the quality he has when he played for part of last season.
“He was a bit of a stand-out in the United team and I will not be surprised if that’s the case again next season.
“It really will not surprise me if they build the team around him because that’s the level of ability he has.”
With most of last season’s team gone, Fyvie will be surrounded by new faces.
That will make United something of an unknown quantity and bringing so many players in at one time has to be something of a gamble.
For Duff it’s a calculated risk and, so long as the right type of player is sourced, he believes the team can gel.
“I think if you go out and get the right players with the right attitude and philosophy, it can work.
“You want players who want to come in and work hard to prove, basically, why the club signed them and that they should be playing at a club like United. If they do that then United can be where they want to be.”
And having spent the best part of a decade at Tannadice from the start of his career, he would like nothing better than to see them back in the top flight.
Last week he was back in a United strip for Dave Bowman’s annual game to raise cash for skin cancer and dementia charities. Running out at Tannadice reminded Duff where United should be.
“You look around the place and it’s geared up for the Premiership but no one has the divine right to be there, you have to earn it. It will be a battle again next season because it’s a tough league.
“But I was here nine-and-a-half years from when I was a kid and the upbringing here was very good – second to none – so I want United back up.”
At 36, and despite recently taking on a new job with the Connect Energy Group that involves a lot of travelling, Duff has no plans to hang up his own boots.
Next season he’ll again be plying his trade in the Highland League with Inverurie Locos.
“The new job is keeping me busy but I do get Saturdays off so I’m available and happy to keep playing.
“We finished third last year, so the aim is to go a bit higher next season.”