What should St Johnstone fans expect from Tom Sang’s loan spell?

It would be fair to say that on deadline day, Tom Sang’s signing arrives at McDiarmid Park as an unknown quantity.

But The PA have teamed up with Glen Williams, Wales Online’s Cardiff City correspondent, to shed some light on what Perth fans should expect from the 22-year-old.

Sang, with the Saints until the end of the season, is likely to operate in a right-back role for Callum Davidson, but this is a player who ventures north with versatility.

“It’s actually quite interesting,” says Glen. “If you ask any Cardiff fan, they are unlikely to tell you that they would like to see him operate in the middle of the park.

“When he first broke into the first team, he played in midfield and on the wings, really fighting to secure a position.

“But he is technically very competent and seems to possess all the skills one needs to be a top central midfielder.

“Mick McCarthy eventually put him at right back and, to his credit, he did very well. Most thought it was just a stopgap measure until Cardiff signed a full-back, but it seems Sang himself now sees that as the main position for him.

“Personally, I think he has the ability to affect things further up the pitch, but there’s nothing to suggest he won’t be a very good full-back, if St Johnstone play him there.”

The Saints’ success last season was often aided by full-backs who showed high energy and a desire to push into the box or, indeed, cross positions. Sang is ready to check those boxes.

Glen added: “There was a reason why the Cardiff fans were most disappointed with Sang leaving the four on loan departing on deadline day.

“He has a very cultured right foot. He’s actually quite a classy player, all things considered, I guess that’s what you get when you’re educated at the Manchester United academy.

“He is quite aggressive by nature. Expect him to contribute in the future, but I have to say, and again this is a credit to him, his defensive work has really improved since he first came on the team.”

Sang arrives in Perth with some experience having played 15 times for the Cardiff first team.

“He took it like a duck to water, really,” Glen revealed. “It probably helped that he was brought into the first team when Cardiff started an 11-game unbeaten run with Mick McCarthy when he first arrived a year ago.

“It almost seemed like a ‘eureka!’ at which point he put in a couple of positive performances for the first team and there were high hopes for him this season. In fact, I marked it as one of my favorites.

“But he had an operation on one of his toes at the end of last season and has really struggled to recover.

“He missed a big part of the season because he just couldn’t get over the pain, which must have been frustrating for him, shortly after his first-team breakthrough.

“The move to Scotland seems to be because he sees himself as a full-back and Cardiff signed two really good full-backs, Cody Drameh from Leeds United and Alfie Doughty from Stoke City, in the January window.

“However, from St Johnstone’s point of view, it’s a positive that they now probably feel they have something to prove.”

Apart from his Cardiff experience, Sang also spent time on loan at Cheltenham Town. It was a success?

Glen said: “Not massively, truth be told.

“He went there expecting to play as a playmaker, but Cheltenham had Finn Azaz on loan from West Brom.

“The playmaker, who has since sealed his move to Aston Villa, was one of the league’s standout players and proved frustrating for Sang, who nearly got stuck at right-back as a result.

“When he returned to Cardiff, the club didn’t really know what his best position was. It is a debate that has continued ever since.

“I guess it will also rumble through the summer. But with a year of first-team experience under him, I hope the St Johnstone fans will accept him. I’m excited to see what he can do this time.”


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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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