Melker Hallberg put together a very impressive body of midfield work in his first few months as a St Johnstone player.
But manager Callum Davidson is confident there will be even more to come from the former Hibs man next season.
Hallberg was Saints’ most creative player as they fought their way to Premiership safety last term, producing several assists as the Perth side’s revival gathered momentum.
And he also scored his first goal for the club in the away leg of the play-off against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, by which time his starting position was almost as an auxiliary attacker.
The Swedish international proved to be worth the wait for Davidson, who secured his signature at the end of the January transfer window.
Now the McDiarmid Park boss is excited about the next stage of the 26-year-old’s career.
“Getting a full pre-season will be great for Melker Hallberg because there’s so much improvement still to come from him,” said Davidson.
“He was one of our key signings last season. He made a huge impact when he arrived.
“Melker drove the team forward a lot.
“He can get fitter because he’d been out for a long time but his stats last year still showed he put so much into the games for us.
𝐒𝐓 𝐉𝐎𝐇𝐍𝐒𝐓𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐆𝐎 𝟐-𝟎 𝐔𝐏!
Melker Hallberg bundles the ball into the net to extend their lead. pic.twitter.com/oRWtSV1Ous
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) May 20, 2022
“He’s a player I really like.
“He brings real quality and I think playing him further forward brings the best out in him.
“In the past he’s played primarily as a sitting midfielder but I don’t think that’s his best position.
“I like him getting forward, driving us up the pitch and hopefully we can get goals from him this season.”