He was St Johnstone’s deadline day signing inevitably overshadowed by the two big-name departures.
Circumstances deprived Cammy MacPherson of the sort of unveiling a new recruit would want but of all the players brought in by Callum Davidson before the transfer window closed, the young midfielder is arguably the most intriguing one.
Can’t wait to get going 🤝⚽️ https://t.co/Ltjulc1Wio
— Cami Macpherson (@macpherson4_) September 1, 2021
The Perth boss will be keen to play down any like-for-like Ali McCann comparisons but there is no getting away from the fact that MacPherson is an energetic central midfielder who, as was the case with the £1.2 million man who has left for Preston North End, benefitted from an early career loan spell with Stranraer.
Big things were predicted at St Mirren and Davidson will back himself to help the 22-year-old find his form again at McDiarmid Park.
That MacPherson has been loaned out by another Premiership club with similar aspirations adds to the interest – not to mention the potential for Paisley embarrassment.
Eric Nicolson looks at what people in football have had to say about him and what key Opta statistics reveal.
Back in October 2019 when MacPherson signed his last contract with St Mirren – which runs out in the summer – Jim Goodwin painted a picture of the sort of all-round young midfielder every academy would hope to pass up to the senior team.
“Cammy is a player who has come on leaps and bounds,” said Goodwin.
“He does things in the right manner and is a very good professional. He’s a big part of what we are trying to do here. He’s got great energy, really good fitness levels, fantastic technically and has a little bit of aggression.”
And by the end of that breakthrough season, after MacPherson had played 25 games for him, Goodwin hadn’t changed his mind.
“Cammy would be my young player of the year,” said the Irishman. “No doubt about it.
“He’s got a belief in himself that good players need. I think he’s understanding now the levels he needs to reach to stay in the game as well.
“He’s working hard in the gym and he’s also learned not to dive into too many daft tackles now, which means we’re getting more games out of him.
“Cammy is one of the best at the club over a dead ball. I think he could score more goals from free-kicks and give us better corners as well if he had just a bit more belief in his ability in those situations.”
— St Mirren FC (@saintmirrenfc) August 14, 2021
Ahead of the start of the subsequent 2019/20 season, Michael Stewart was asked on Twitter to choose his best young Scottish prospect outwith the Old Firm.
“I really really like Cammy MacPherson at St Mirren and genuinely surprised he didn’t play more often last season, huge season for him now. If I was at Hearts, Hibs or Aberdeen I’d try and sign him in a heartbeat.”
I really really like Cammy McPherson at St.Mirren and genuinely surprised he didn’t play more often last season, huge season for him now. If I was at Hearts, Hibs or Aberdeen I’d try and sign him in a heartbeat.
— Michael Stewart (@mstewart_23) July 19, 2021
The St Mirren legend
Steven Thompson sees even more of the Buddies than his BBC colleague and around the same time, he was also predicting a big future in the game for MacPherson.
“He’s very versatile which I know Jim likes,” said the former St Mirren striker. “His best attribute is that he’s a ball winner. He’s not scared to go into battle which is what the club needs going up against the bigger boys in the division.
“His ball striking is very good too.”
MacPherson, who was red-carded against Saints at McDiarmid Park in January, was left out of Goodwin’s squad for the Scottish Cup semi-final between the sides in May.
Three days after that crushing disappointment he came off the bench to score against Kilmarnock.
On the pitch with him at Rugby Park that night was Jay Henderson, who said: “Cammy’s goal was the best by far. It was an incredible hit.
What one word would you use to describe Cammy MacPherson's goal last night? ☄️💥 pic.twitter.com/Nu92GPdpo0
— St Mirren FC (@saintmirrenfc) May 13, 2021
“It was great to see him scoring and back playing after missing out on the Scottish Cup semi.
“On a big occasion everybody wants to be involved. I’m sure he was disappointed, but he showed a great reaction to come back in and make such a big impact. It was the perfect reaction and helped us get a result in the end.”
As mentioned, MacPherson isn’t viewed by Davidson as a direct replacement for McCann.
But when you put Opta’s graphic of where the two players had their touches in the Premiership last season, it is clear the new Saints man deserves the ‘box-to-box’ description every bit as much as the old one.
And it would appear Perth fans can expect to see MacPherson in attacking midfield areas even more than they did with McCann.