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Sam McClelland reveals 3 Dundee United aims as St Johnstone defender targets loan bounce

The Northern Ireland internationalist has swapped McDiarmid Park for Tannadice until the end of the season.

Sam McClelland, Dundee United loan arrival.
Sam McClelland is a Dundee United player until the end of the campaign. Image: Richard Wiseman/Dundee United FC

Sam McClelland has joined Dundee United for three reasons – games, good times and staying in contention to answer the green and white call.

The St Johnstone defender has signed up on loan until the end of the season at Tannadice after battling back from an ankle injury.

He sustained the blow on international duty with Northern Ireland’s U/21s.

Having turned 22 in January, his days as an age group cap will end at the conclusion of his country’s current 2025 European Championship cycle.

But with one senior appearance to his name already, he hopes featuring for one of Scotland’s most famous clubs in United – and helping them secure promotion to the Premiership – will put him on track for more.

Sam McClelland on Northern Ireland U/21 duty against Scotland in 2022. Image: SNS

He told DUTV: “Being from Northern Ireland I want to play as many times as I can for them throughout my career.

“I’ve done that through the age groups [and with the] 21s quite a lot most recently.

“Getting here, hopefully playing games again sets me up for that.

“Dundee United is a massive club here in Scotland. One of the big clubs – and should be in the Premiership.

“That’s something I’m looking forward to being a part of. I want to be a part of getting the club back into the top league.”

Yet even more important to McClelland than achieving potential promotion and international recognition is simply playing football again.

New St Johnstone signing Sam McClelland in action for Chelsea.
Dundee United loan defender Sam McClelland in action for Chelsea. Image: Shutterstock.

The Chelsea academy graduate has missed four months of action – and he has not joined United to make up the numbers.

Ahead of the Tangerines’ next Championship fixture against title rivals Raith Rovers he told fans what to expect from him on the park.

“I like to be organised in defence and feel comfortable on the ball too,” he said.

“The main job is being solid at the back, keeping clean sheets, but I enjoy the on the ball side of it as well.”

On facing Raith he added: “Hopefully I can get a good week or so’s training in, hopefully be involved in that game and get off to a good start.”

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