9 free agents Scottish Premiership clubs could sign – ex-Rangers star, £13.5m striker, Aberdeen & Hibs target, international centre-back

Brandon Barker

Rangers released the winger ahead of the close of the January transfer window after featuring just eleven this season, a 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Stirling Albion. The 25-year-old never held down a regular spot at Ibrox, scoring three goals in 27 appearances across a two-and-a-half season spell which included a loan at Oxford United.

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The former Manchester City youngster did display what he had to offer during a loan stint at Hibs in the 2017/18 campaign. Barker is very quick and unpredictable and can play on either wing.

Brandon Barker left Rangers last month. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

Robert Snodgrass

It’s been 14 years since the playmaker played his football in Scotland. A ten-goal season for Livingston was followed by a move to Leeds United. Since then Snodgrass has made more than 450 appearances in English football with the likes of Norwich City, West Ham and most recently West Brom.

The former Scotland international would be a smart pick-up for a number of clubs looking for attacking inspiration. It is not surprising that both Aberdeen and Hibs have been linked with a move for the 34-year-old who can operate in different attacking positions. His vision, game intelligence and ability to score and create would be welcome at most clubs.

Winston Reid

Robert Snodgrass has been linked with Aberdeen and Hibs. (Photo by Matthew Ashton-AMA/Getty Images)

It’s not often an international defender with nearly 200 Premier League appearances is available on a free transfer. But that is the case with Reid who was released by West Ham back in September. For seven seasons he was a regular with the Hammers before injuries hampered his final years at the club.

He was recently called up to the New Zealand international squad despite being unattached. A reliable stopper and leader to boot. He helped Brentford win promotion to the Premier League last season.

Josh Sims

The former Southampton winger has been linked with a move to Ross County as Malky Mackay looks to strengthen his attacking options, the team having scored the third most goals in the league despite sitting tenth.

Josh Sims is rumored to be interesting Ross County. (Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

Sims opened up in November as to why he has been a free agent since being released by Saints at the end of the 2020/21 season. The 24-year-old suffered from myocarditis which causes extreme pain in the heart.

Oumar Niasse

Eleven bought for £13.5million. The striker was recently training with West Didsbury and Chorlton who play in the tenth tier of the English pyramid. To say his big-money move from Everton having impressed with Lokomotiv Moscow didn’t work out is an understatement.

Despite his lack of game time, his scoring record for the Toffees was respectable as it was during a loan spell with Hull City. He’s not nearly the same player he was when signed by Everton but he would definitely fall into the ‘worth a punt’ category.

Everton eleven signed Oumar Niasse for £13.5million. (Photo by Cardiff City FC/Getty Images)

Conor McLaughlin

The 30-year-old is an experienced full-back with nearly 300 games in the English Championship and League One. A free agent after his short-term deal with Fleetwood Town expired. He is the elder brother of former Aberdeen loanee Ryan McLaughlin and has earned 43 caps for Northern Ireland.

Clubs could look at what Michael Smith has provided Hearts, a steady figure, reliable and versatile. McLaughlin ticks many of these boxes and has dealt with playing at clubs such as Sunderland and Millwall where there is a certain degree of pressure.

giles barnes

No player screams mid-season signing for a struggling Scottish Premiership team in need of inspiration more than Giles Barnes. A highly-rated young talent in England, to play in MLS before making the switch to Mexico and most recently in the Indian Super League.

The 33-year-old’s career enjoyed a renaissance when he moved to the Houston Dynamo in MLS, his form bringing him the club’s player of the year, plus 19 caps across two years for Jamaica.

Giedrius Arlauskis

A goalkeeper can be the difference between safety and relegation. Just as Hearts. Lithuanian international Arlauskis has experience of playing in the top flight in his homeland, Romania, Russia, England and Spain. Plus he has won 12 trophies during his playing career.

He was most recently linked with a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray who had their own goalkeeping issues. The commanding Lithuanian has proven himself to be a reliable presence between the sticks when given the chance.

Isaac Mbenza

The 25-year-old is someone who falls into the ‘well worth a punt’ category having left Qatar Sports Club. A former Belgian Under-21 international, a productive spell in Ligue 1 with Montpellier persuaded Huddersfield Town to recruit him with then Terriers boss David Wagner effusive in his praise of what he would bring the team.

“Isaac is a very exciting player.This is a great deal for Huddersfield Town for a player with such ability and potential. You do not play for Belgium at under-21 level unless you have some outstanding attributes. He is a very quick winger with a direct style of play… he has a real eye for goal too.”

Huddersfield turned the loan deal permanent and Mbenza showed his capability from free-kicks as well.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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