Theo Bair “has got everything” to be a Premiership hit for St Johnstone next season, according to Callum Hendry.
Now that the man whose goals kept the Perth club in the Premiership has moved south to play for Salford City, manager Callum Davidson is in the market for attacking reinforcements.
But Hendry believes the strikers already at McDiarmid Park will do their bit next season – and that includes the powerful Canadian international, Bair, who is ready to make his mark on Scottish football.
“In all the teams I’ve been involved in, he’s probably the biggest athlete I’ve seen,” said Hendry.
“He’s got everything and I think he’ll get up to speed with a good pre-season.
“There is nothing stopping him going on and scoring goals for Saints this coming season.”
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) June 22, 2022
Hendry partnered Stevie May and Chris Kane on many occasions over the last few years and that duo will also have big roles to play in Davidson’s third season in charge.
“A lot of people might have opinions about Stevie,” said the former Blackburn Rovers man. “But he is important for that team.
“He was important for me.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him as a guy. As a player, he’ll run and run all day for you.
“Kano is another great guy.
“He’ll come back from this injury.
“He will be tormenting centre-halves again, I’m sure.
“He pops up with goals too and I don’t think Saints would have won the double without him.”
Shaun Rooney and Craig Bryson have also moved on, with Jamie McCart and Zander Clark all but certain to join them in finding new clubs this summer, while Liam Craig has taken up a backroom role.
Hendry doesn’t fear a second Premiership basement battle, though.
On the contrary, the 24-year-old predicted a return to familiar habits.
“There will be a slight rebuild at the club but it’s nothing they can’t handle,” he said. “They have done it before.
“The club overcame Tommy Wright leaving. He did an unbelievable job and was a great manager.
“I don’t think anything stands in the way of Saints being where they should be.
“I’m sure they will get back to being in Europe and will be among the cup runs.
‘I love the guy to bits’
Hendry added: “In a weird way, keeping Liam Craig was probably the best bit of business for Saints.
“He is so important for the club and the players because of the way he conducts himself and his character.
“He knows the game inside out. They all do in that dressing room.
“Saints are in good hands with Liam Gordon as skipper.
“If every club had someone like Gordy, they would be very lucky.
We’ve been through it all brother.
It’s been one hell of a ride and I just want to wish you every success on your new chapter.
A great player and friend.
Take care of yourself Cal💙 @Callum_Hendry https://t.co/PJtGn2hQqG
— Liam Gordon (@_LiamGordon) June 17, 2022
“He is from the city, went to school there, knows everyone and has a love for the club. There aren’t many like that.
“Everyone knows they are getting 110% off him and he’ll run through brick walls for the club.
“I love the guy to bits and he is my best pal. It was tough saying goodbye.
“He might be six foot three but he has a soft side.”