The best centre-back in the Championship (Jason Kerr) is returning to St Johnstone

Jason Kerr in action for Queen of the South.

St Johnstone will be getting the best central defender in the Championship when Jason Kerr returns to the club next week, Perth boss Tommy Wright believes.

Kerr’s loan spell with Queen of the South has been a huge success.

The Scotland under-21 international, who had previously been farmed out to East Fife, has made 18 appearances and scored five times.

Queens boss would have loved to keep Kerr to aid their promotion bid but Wright wants Kerr back at McDiarmid Park to fight for a starting place with Saints in the second half of the season.

The same will also be the case with striker Chris Kane, who has scored four goals in his last five games.

“Jason has a big future ahead of him,” said Wright. “I’m told he has been easily the best centre-back in the Championship and I know Gary Naysmith believes that as well.

“They were desperate to keep him but I had to make sure I had numbers and quality here for the rest of the season.

“He is coming back to put real pressure on the centre-halves. I have every confidence that he is ready.

“Jason has moved up the levels and it was important we got him out to a Championship club this season, otherwise we’d have held onto him here and chucked him in.

“We have kept tabs on his progress and he has been with a good manager who was a top defender as a player. The league has been good for Jason as well.

“I’m glad to get him back and Chris Kane as well.”

Kerr recently signed a contract extension with Saints through to 2020.