Like Efe Ambrose, Ali Crawford has hit the ground running as a St Johnstone player.
And like Efe Ambrose, his familiarity with the league has surely played a part in that.
The former Hamilton Accies midfielder has been an instant hit at McDiarmid Park, featuring in every game since he arrived on loan from Bolton Wanderers and scoring in the League Cup quarter-final victory over Dundee.
Crawford was name-checked by Callum Davidson for the standard of his performance against Hibs on Sunday and Courier Sport has taken a deeper look at the Opta statistics for his first full game to see why.
Most accurate St Johnstone passer
But his primary function will be to link defence and attack, mixing up short and long passes and thriving in tight spaces.
He might not have the flicks and tricks that are part of the David Wotherspoon repertoire – or we haven’t seen them yet – but the quality of Crawford’s first touch and accuracy of his distribution looks to be of a similar standard to the three-time Perth trophy winner.
He’s a Wotherspoon-type player.
It’s an early bonus for Davidson that the two men have shown against Rangers, Dundee and now Hibs that the team can prosper with both in the starting line-up.
But when the fixtures pile up in deepest winter and the more physical midfielders like Murray Davidson and Cammy MacPherson are hopefully available, no doubt there will be a bit of selection rotation between the two.
Passing accuracy of 83.8% was the highest of the Saints starting outfield players on Sunday.
And even more impressive was the fact he was also top for that category in the opposition half – this time 77.8%.
Saints have themselves a player who will take care of the football and no wonder Davidson is pleased with what he’s seeing.
Crawford v Boyle
Davidson and Jack Ross deployed different systems so there was no direct like-for-like player in the opposition team.
Although they clearly don’t have the same skillsets, the nearest positional comparison that could be made in terms of the areas of the pitch they found was Crawford and Martin Boyle.
It speaks to the job the Saints defenders did that Hibs’ talisman had a quiet game but it also a feather in Crawford’s cap that he out-played the Australian international in every Opta passing category.
Crawford’s loan deal runs out in January but you would imagine Davidson has already seen enough to convince him that this is a stay that should last a lot longer.