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Friday 4th September 2015

24 of the best deadline-day signings

With the transfer window having closed earlier this week, Craig Fowler looks back on 24 occasions over the past 10 years when SPFL clubs came up trumps on deadline day.

With the transfer window having closed earlier this week, Craig Fowler looks back on 24 occasions when SPFL clubs came up trumps on deadline day.

31 January 2005 - Craig Bellamy from Newcastle United to Celtic, loan
The little firecracker may have only spent five months in the East End of Glasgow, but he left a lasting impression on the Celtic support. Though the season ended in disappointment, Celtic may not have been in the position to win the title in the first place where it not for Bellamy's seven league goals, including an unforgettable hat-trick at Tannadice.

31 January 2005 - Barry Ferguson from Blackburn Rovers to Rangers, £4.5m
The prodigal son returned home to the open arms of the Rangers support after a spell at Blackburn Rovers and picked up where he left off, helping the Gers to a League and League Cup double in his first half-season. He would win four more trophies during his second spell at Ibrox and captained the team during the 2007/08 run to the UEFA Cup Final.

31 January 2006 - Bruno Aguiar from FBK Kaunas to Hearts, loan
Aguiar was one of eight (yes, eight!) signings made by Vladimir Romanov on the last day of the January transfer window. While team-mate Jose Goncalves would go on to have a solid Hearts career, there's no doubt the creative midfielder was the pick of the bunch as his loan deal from Kaunas was later made a permanent switch. Had a penchant for scoring free-kicks.

31 August 2006 - Lee Miller from Dundee United to Aberdeen, free
The former Falkirk and Hearts striker hadn't done as well as hoped at Tannadice but he was a big hit at Pittodrie. Miller twice scored in double figures in his three full seasons and helped the Dons qualify for Europe twice. He even made them a six-figure profit when sold to Middlesbrough.

31 August 2006 - Saša Papac from Austria Vienna to Rangers, £450,000
The last and undoubtedly best signing of the ill-fated Paul Le Guen era arrived with little fanfare, but he would go on to enjoy a stellar six-year career at Ibrox. Another who played in the 2008 UEFA Cup Final.

31 January 2007 - Robert Snodgrass from Livingston to Stirling Albion, loan
It took just 15 games for the future Scotland international to leave an indelible mark on the recent history of Stirling Albion. His two goals in the First Division play-off final second-leg at Airdrie saw the Binos promoted to the second tier of Scottish football. In total, he bagged seven goals from 15 matches. Not bad for a 19-year-old.

31 January 2007 - Paul Hartley from Hearts to Celtic, £1.1m
Having pursued his signature for two years, Celtic finally got their man halfway through the 2006/07 season. After taking time to settle in, Hartley would enjoy a stellar 2007/08 campaign where he helped the club qualify for the knock-out stage of the Champions League. An attacking midfielder at Hearts, Hartley was stationed more defensively by Gordon Strachan, though this made him no less important to the side.

31 August 2007 - Stephen Hughes from Leicester City to Motherwell, undisclosed
Hughes received his one and only Scotland cap after earning a move to Norwich City off the back of his terrific form with Motherwell. In two seasons with the Steelmen he was consistently excellent, helping the side to a third-place finish in the 2007/08 campaign.

31 August 2007 - Paul Lawson from Celtic to Ross County, free
The play-dictating midfielder originally signed for the Highland club shortly after County had been relegated back to the second tier of Scottish football. Who knew that he would not only help them return at the first time of asking, but would go on to play over 150 league games and become a valuable member of the side that finished the 2012/13 campaign in the top six of the SPL.

31 August 2007 - Steven Naismith from Kilmarnock to Rangers, £1.9m
Rangers fought off competition from other SPL sides to land the attacking prospect from Kilmarnock. Despite suffering from injury problems over his five years, Naismith would still grow immeasurably as a footballer at Ibrox and earn himself a move to the English Premier League.

31 January 2008 - Steven Davis from Fulham to Rangers, loan
The all-action midfielder impressed from the start and his new club were only too happy to make the switch permanent the following summer. In all, Davis would help Rangers win eight trophies during his time at Ibrox, reach the 2008 UEFA Cup final and even earn himself a Football Writers’ Player of the Year award.

31 January 2008 - Steven Hammell from Southend United to Motherwell, £110,000
It seems odd now to think of the left-back having ever been away from Motherwell. A season-and-a-half was spent at Southend United before the club convinced him to return to Lanarkshire. Still going strong at 33, Hammell is closing in on 450 appearances for the Fir Park side. Without doubt he's a modern-day Motherwell legend.

31 January 2008 - Barry Robson from Dundee United to Celtic, £1m
He may have only made 55 appearances across two years for the club, but Robson always seemed to be trusted for the big games, where his set-piece delivery could give Celtic an advantage over tough opponents. His partnership with Paul Hartley in the latter half of 2007/08 also played a big part in helping to Celtic overhaul Rangers at the top of the table for the club's third successive league crown.

1 September 2009 - Mickaël Antoine-Curier from Dundee to Hamilton Academical, loan
This selection is a bit of a cheat since his initial spell didn't end too happily after an injury-plagued first full campaign following the loan being made permanent. However, a relationship developed between player and club which saw MAC return for a much more successful second spell, where he played a crucial role in helping the team win promotion to the top flight, and then contributed to their blistering start last season.

1 February 2010 - Ryan Stevenson from Ayr United to Heart of Midlothian, undisclosed
Originally used as a bit-part player after his move up from the Second Division, Stevenson would grow into a valuable role within the team (over two spells) and remains fondly remembered by Hearts fans for his efforts in the administration/relegation season of 2013/14. He also netted a couple of goals against derby rivals Hibs.

31 August 2010 - Alexei Eremenko from Metalist Kharkiv to Kilmarnock, loan
How much did Kilmarnock fans love Eremenko? Well, they nicknamed him 'God'. His mercurial talents propelled Killie into the top six in his first spell with the club. Under the guidance of Mixu Paatelainen, the team delighted the Rugby Park faithful with a thoroughly entertaining brand of football. At the heart was Eremenko, pulling the strings in the No 10 position.

31 August 2010 - Anthony Stokes from Hibernian to Celtic, £1.2m
Having netted 23 times in a single season for Hibs, it seemed Celtic were getting a cut-price deal when they signed the Irishman on transfer deadline day. And so it proved to be. Stokes has twice netted over 20 goals in a single season and helped the club to seven domestic trophies.

31 August 2012 - Paul Dummett from Newcastle United to St Mirren, loan
The full-back has made over 50 appearances for Newcastle United following this highly-successful loan spell in Paisley. Twice St Mirren concluded loans for Dummett on transfer deadline day and both times they were rewarded with fine performances from the left-back. He even featured in the team that won the 2013 League Cup Final.

31 August 2012 - Jesús García Tena from Cuneo 1905 to Livingston, free
The classy centre-back with an outrageous range of passing arrived in West Lothian via the fourth tier of Italian football. In just one year with the Lions, he established himself as a true cult hero. His displays at the heart of the defence earned a move to Hamilton, where he would become part of the club's 2013/14 promotion-winning campaign.

31 January 2013 - Mark Reynolds from Sheffield Wednesday to Aberdeen, free
Having had the defender for two loan spells, Aberdeen rightly jumped at the chance to sign Reynolds following his release from Sheffield Wednesday. Since then his form has not dropped off one bit, and he has more than justified the four-and-a-half year deal granted to him at the time.

31 January 2013 - Paul McGinn from St Mirren to Dumbarton, loan
This is perhaps a decision St Mirren wish they could take back. McGinn was terrific for Dumbarton, continually bombing up and down the right wing from full-back over 18 months at the Rock. It was no surprise when a top-flight club, in the form of Dundee, came calling, and he has proven himself to be more than capable at the highest level.

31 January 2014 - Leigh Griffiths from Wolverhampton Wanderers to Celtic, undisclosed
The livewire striker arrived as the third wheel to the Kris Commons & Anthony Stokes combination, but he's since established himself as the leading striker in the Celtic squad, becoming a firm favourite with the support for his tenacity and goalscoring exploits. He scored over 20 goals in all competitions last season and is well on the way this term.

1 September 2014 - Dylan McGeouch from Celtic to Hibernian, loan
McGeouch's arrival at Easter Road last season heralded an upturn in form for Alan Stubbs' side. Playing alongside the emerging Scott Allan, McGeouch helped make the Hibs midfield one of the most difficult to defend against in Scottish football. While losing Allan was no doubt a blow to the Hibs support, it was softened in a big way when they heard McGeouch was coming back to sign a permanent deal this summer.

1 September 2014 - Jackson Irvine from Celtic to Ross County, loan
Having blossomed in the final two months of a previous loan spell with Kilmarnock, Irvine hit the ground running at Dingwall and, in a Jekyll & Hyde season for the Highland club, was by far their most consistent performer. County were encouraged to make the deal permanent this summer and Irvine's displays have continued to catch the eye.