Five deadline day signings completed Robbie Neilson’s January overhaul of his Dundee United squad.
A busy month for Neilson and sporting director Tony Asghar was boxed off with the arrival of Tannadice old boy Calum Butcher, former Aberdeen winger Peter Pawlett, ex-Kilmarnock and St Johnstone centre-back Mark Connolly, former Hearts striker Osman Sow – all on permanent deals – and Mark Reynolds on loan from Aberdeen.
Back in November, Neilson was of a mind that there wouldn’t be “wholesale” changes but up-and-down performances in the last couple of months have altered his thinking.
Backed by new owner Mark Ogren, the Transfer Deadline Day recruits brought the January grand total up to a full team of 11.
Several of those have previously worked with Neilson before, including Sow and Pawlett.
Both have joined from MK Dons and will link up again with their former boss.
Pawlett spent the biggest part of his career at Aberdeen and was on loan at St Johnstone for a spell.
Neilson said: “I know Peter well and am delighted to have him here at United. His pace and direct style will be a great addition to our team, and he brings real quality.”
As revealed yesterday by Courier Sport, midfielder Butcher has signed up for a second spell at Tannadice. He has agreed an 18-month deal.
Butcher, who can also play in defence, has played for Burton Albion and Millwall, and was most recently at Mansfield Town, since leaving United in 2015.
Neilson said: “Calum will add strength and drive to our midfield.
“He has grown as a player during his spell back in England and is an important addition to our squad. He knows the Scottish game and Dundee United well. I am pleased to have got him signed.”
Centre-back Connolly has joined from Crawley Town until 2021.
United will be the Irishman’s third Scottish club. He spent a season at St Johnstone and two at Kilmarnock, where he was captain.
The 27-year-old was once a £1 million player at Bolton Wanderers.
Neilson said: “Mark is a strong defender and a leader. He brings great experience and an excellent attitude to the dressing room and pitch. I am delighted to make him a Dundee United player.”
Then, as midnight approached, Reynolds’ loan deal from Pittodrie was confirmed as was Sow’s arrival.
Neilson said: “I am pleased to get this deal done. Mark is a quality defender and has great experience. He will be an important part of the squad both on and off the park over the rest of the season.”
The quantity and quality of United’s signings will please their head coach. Moulding them into a title-winning team, with ground to make up on Ross County and Ayr United, is the next task.
Fraser Aird left United on loan to Queen of the South, while Adam Barton has joined Connah’s Quay Nomads, also on loan.