Shaun Rooney is capable of becoming the second Highland hit in succession at St Johnstone, according to caretaker manager Alec Cleland.
The Inverness Caledonian Thistle right-back was snapped up on a pre-contract agreement in January.
Unlike his Caley Jags team-mate, Jamie McCart, Rooney stayed with John Robertson’s side through to the end of the season.
But Cleland has backed the 23-year-old to make the same sort of impact at McDiarmid Park as the impressive central defender, who took no time whatsoever to settle in the Premiership when he arrived.
Rooney was a Tommy Wright signing but the stand-in manager knows all about Saints’ new full-back from his days starting out in the SPFL as a teenager.
“We had a good look at him a few years ago when he was a young boy coming through at Queen’s Park,” said Cleland. “There were plenty of others looking at him too.
“He’s well known to me.
“We know his pedigree and what he’s going to offer us.
“He’s got a good knowledge of Scottish football and he’ll be looking at what his mate Jamie has done with us after leaving Inverness.
“He’s made a big impact in the Premiership and Shaun will be looking to do the same.
“He’ll believe he can do that even more after looking at how well Jamie has made the move up to the big league.
“I know that they rate him very highly at Inverness. He’s a big lad who gets up and down the pitch. He’s coming into a strong squad and will add something to it.”
Meanwhile, Cleland is ready to guide Saints through pre-season if necessary.
It is hoped that the Premiership season can resume behind closed-doors in early August, with June 10 spoken about as a possible return date for training.
Chairman Steve Brown is under no pressure to appoint Wright’s successor and Cleland believes the players will be in safe and experienced hands when they come back.
“Getting contracts sorted has been the first process,” he reported.
“Looking at how we are going to start back is the next process – it could be sometime in June.
“That means organising a pre-season and making sure everything is in place for the players’ safety when they come back.
“The chairman and Kirsten (Robertson) are very busy.
“They know that myself, Alan (Maybury), Paul (Mathers) and the other staff are working towards getting the club up and running again.
“If we’re taking pre-season that will be fine – we’ve done it many times.
“We’ll carry on with what we’re doing until the chairman is ready to start the next process.
“He can take his time and we do know that whatever process he goes through, it has worked very well in the past. I’m confident they’ll appoint the right man.”