Scott Tanser has been a Michael O’Halloran-type St Johnstone hit, according to Tommy Wright.
And the Perth boss believes he can become one of the best full-backs in Scotland.
The Englishman’s career was drifting before Wright picked him up on a free transfer but, after originally arriving as cover for Brian Easton, he has become a first team ever-present.
Wright revealed that he has always had high expectations for rough diamond Tanser.
“Scott has improved massively over the last 18 months or so.
“He is quickly becoming a top class full-back and for me he can go on to become one of the top three or four in the country.
“He has things to work on, but as he gets stronger and more experienced he’s improving rapidly.
“Scott was a Mikey O’Halloran type of signing, someone we picked up from down south when their career was going nowhere.
“He had been highly-rated as a kid but took a few knocks and maybe his confidence was low.
“He is someone who could quite easily have drifted out of the game but he took the decision to come up here and get his career going again.
“Has he exceeded our expectations? I’m not sure about that because we’d looked into his background and how highly he was thought of as a teenager.
“So we knew there was a real player in there. It was just a case of bringing it out and giving him the platform to go and play.”
The “tough love” that Tanser has got from Wright has been because of the potential the Saints manager saw in him from day one.
“I have to admit, looking back, I have been quite hard on him but I only do that with the ones I think have got something,” he said.
“I have pushed him and pushed him because of his ability. Early on, what we saw in training wasn’t what we were seeing on a Saturday.
“But in the last 18 months he has been getting better and better. He’s now showing in games the player we see every day.
“At the level we are working at you have to take chances on players like we did with Scott.
“You have to pick up strays here and there, give them a chance, rebuild that confidence with a bit of tough love thrown in and away they go again.
“They won’t all work but I think our record of doing it is pretty good and Scott has proved to be a great signing for the club.”