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Which Scottish club is the best fit for Steven Naismith?

CRAIG FOWLER   Published: 15:28 Friday 12 January 2018 

Norwich City are prepared to let the Scotland striker, who wishes to return home, leave on loan during the January window. Hearts and Kilmarnock are interested, but which side would need Naismith the most north of the border? 

THE LEADING CONTENDERS

Hearts

Naismith is industrious, energetic and fits into all the stereotypes we associate with a Craig Levein side. But, more importantly, he’s an intelligent footballer. Hearts don’t necessarily require a new goalscorer, not before other positions are filled. However, what they severely lack is a striker who’s going to do the basics well and provide enough of a threat in the opposition penalty box. Kyle Lafferty and Esmael Goncalves are too mercurial to work as a pairing, while Cole Stockton isn’t a goal threat. Adding someone like Naismith alongside either of the former two could see them improve their play, or at least allow their eccentricities to become accommodated within the framework of a team. Even if they don’t plan on using him up front, there is a void at attacking midfield left by the sale of Jamie Walker. He may not be the type of creator who’s going to turn Hearts into an aesthetically pleasing side, but he’s still a talent who’ll improve what’s already at the position, which isn’t much at present.

Kilmarnock

It would be a shame to break up the Eamonn Brophy-Kris Boyd partnership, especially as the former has been in such great form of late and would naturally be the man to drop out of the side if Naismith signed. However, while Brophy represents a bright prospect for the future, we can only assume Naismith would be a huge upgrade at present, and it would delight fans to see the former Boydy-Naisy pairing - the two played together as youngsters in the mid-00s - reunited in 2018. Another possibility would be for Naismith to replace Jordan Jones if the winger leaves in the January window. He is out of contract at the end of the season and the club would surely be tempted by a fair offer. It would enable Steve Clarke to set out his side in a 4-4-2 diamond, with Naismith at the tip in front of an intimidating trio of Gary Dicker, Alan Power and Youssouf Mulumbu, without marginalising what’s currently one of the brightest stars on his team.

Rangers

Naismith’s fit at Rangers would depend on how much left he’s got in the tank. We’re talking about a player who’s featured just three times this campaign, is on the wrong side of 30, and has been left out in the cold by a Championship club. In Kenny Miller, presuming the evergreen 38-year-old will be able to regain full fitness within the next month or so, Rangers already have a second striker who does a lot of graft outside the penalty area. Would they need another? Short answer: yes. Considering he still featured in 34 games last season, is only 18 months removed from being a Premier League player and last received a Scotland cap under a year ago, you’d have to think Naismith would be a hit back in his home nation. Jamie Murphy’s arrival kind of clouds the water, as he’s a similar type of player in the respect that he’s a versatile forward, but as we’ve mentioned so many times this term, Rangers have a shocking lack of depth. Adding another quality attacker to their arsenal can only be a good thing. At the moment, however, it doesn’t seem like the club (believed to be his first choice) are particularly interested.

THE REST (WHO COULD REALISTICALLY SIGN HIM)

Hibs

Hearts are in for him, so don’t be too surprised if Hibs are keeping an eye on things as well. The two Edinburgh sides have routinely chased the same striker over the last year, so why not do it again? Well, from Hibs perspective, he’s probably not the kind of attacker they need right now. Of course, if you’re Neil Lennon and you have the chance to sign Steven Naismith on a short-term loan to bolster your chances of finishing second and enjoying a lengthy cup run, you do it. But unless there’s money going spare, it’s a position where there’s already a lot of cover, especially after the capture of Jamie Maclaren. Furthermore, Naismith’s never been much of a regular goalscorer, and that’s what the Hibees crave more than anything out of this window.

Aberdeen

For all the reasons Hibs wouldn’t sign him, you can apply them to Aberdeen. For a team that often plays with one up front, they arguably have even more depth in attack. Stevie May, Adam Rooney and Nicky Maynard are the out-and-out strikers, while Niall McGinn, Greg Stewart, Ryan Christie, Scott Wright, Gary Mackay-Steven and Kenny McLean can all play in the supporting three. If they need any sort of forward it’s a target man, not a little terrier.

Celtic

The last of the three teams who could outbid Hearts, and not already linked with the player, Celtic could make this a banter signing, especially if Rangers suddenly become interested, but there would be little other reason to do so.

CONCLUSION

Hearts are probably crying out for this type of forward the most out of those mentioned, and such a capture would come at an ideal time with the must-win Scottish Cup derby against Hibs just over a week away. However, Naismith would probably prefer to return to one of his former homes. He’s said money is no objective and, if he’s true to his word, then Killie would still be in the mix, though it would depend on whether Norwich would be prepared to cut ties. If they’re uncompromising in their stance that the player must only leave on loan, then Hearts would be favoured in this two-way battle because they (using the funds from the Walker sale) could likely pay a higher percentage of his wages. Rangers could trump both of them, but whether they have the desire (or the funds) to make the deal remains to be seen.

Read more at: https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/which-scottish-club-is-the-best-fit-for-steven-naismith-1-4659993

Edited by RAG

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I wonder if Steve Clarke phoned him whether that may personally persuade him. Of course the stumbling block may be the wage contribution and our pitch. Norwich may not let him go for what we are offering. If he wants to return north, Hearts maybe his only option 

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Pure speculation all round here apart from the part where financially we could not compete with hearts or indeed rangers if they are his preferred option and maybe as has been said our plastic fantastic may also be another major factor!

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I love how any time anyone is looking for a negative "It's the pitch". During December when we were winning it wasn't mentioned once. As soon as something might not go our way it's obviously a giant obstacle again.

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17 minutes ago, Fletch said:

I love how any time anyone is looking for a negative "It's the pitch". During December when we were winning it wasn't mentioned once. As soon as something might not go our way it's obviously a giant obstacle again.

It is a big consideration when you are 31 and have had the injuries Naisy has experienced in his career

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4 hours ago, Scooby_Doo said:

I take it those who don't like Boyd’s punditry don't mind this article? 

He's talking about Killie and no the currant buns and anyone who had an issue with his punditry was more to do with his obsession with the goings on at grey skull 

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32 minutes ago, Mojike and Bod said:

It is a big consideration when you are 31 and have had the injuries Naisy has experienced in his career

That happened in grass parks...

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1 hour ago, Mojike and Bod said:

It is a big consideration when you are 31 and have had the injuries Naisy has experienced in his career

Multiple players in our squad have had bad injury problems in recent years before signing. Broadfoot, O'Donnell, Mulumbu - It didn't stop them signing. I'm sure if Naismith is considering a move here at all the approved artificial turf will be way down his list of considerations.

He has probably been training on them regularly throughout his career anyway.

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Lots of conjecture and rumour on the site concerning Naismith - including one that I passed on, so I'm just as guilty - but here is a fact.

I won't name the school but this week Naismith visited a west of Scotland independent school to make enquiries about enrolling his kids. That, in itself, doesn't give us any clues about whether it's going to be Killie, Hearts or Rangers but it does now seem certain that he's coming to Scotland.

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Unless his family are moving back here and Naisy relocates somewhere in England until his Norwich contract expires -  the flip side to what Gary Dicker & Gordon Greer are doing while with us.

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5 hours ago, kfc_superteam said:

I wonder if Steve Clarke phoned him whether that may personally persuade him. Of course the stumbling block may be the wage contribution and our pitch. Norwich may not let him go for what we are offering. If he wants to return north, Hearts maybe his only option 

The wage contribution isn't an issue if Naismith really wants to play for Killie. 

He would get £30k per week for the privilege. Not too shabby. 

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1 minute ago, Trumpetree said:

Unless his family are moving back here and Naisy relocates somewhere in England until his Norwich contract expires -  the flip side to what Gary Dicker & Gordon Greer are doing while with us.

Possible, I suppose.

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7 minutes ago, Trumpetree said:

Unless his family are moving back here and Naisy relocates somewhere in England until his Norwich contract expires -  the flip side to what Gary Dicker & Gordon Greer are doing while with us.

This unfortunately

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2 minutes ago, kilMARKnock said:

This unfortunately

Slightly different situation in that they were settled in the south and then got a move that separated them from their family - it would be slightly different to send your family on somewhere else intending to stay 18 months or whatever in the area you've just sent them away from. I'd say the indications are he's moving up here.

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NAISMITH ASKS TO LEAVE NORWICH

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has revealed that Steven Naismith has asked to leave the club.arke has confirmed that Naismith is looking for another club to join before the end of the month.

Farke has confirmed that Naismith is looking for another club to join before the end of the month.

Naismith has started three games for Norwich this season. Two in the Championship and one in the League Cup.
 

Harry Trump/Getty Images SportHarry Trump/Getty Images Sport

He has fallen far down the pecking order under Farke and is looking to seal a move away to gain more regular minutes his belt.

Reports earlier this week have linked him with a move to Scottish side Hearts. He is thought to be in talks with Hearts over a potential loan move.

Rangers have also been touted with interest in Naismith, though no English clubs appear keen to take him on. 

Norwich official twitter

DF: "It was a hard decision but he has not been a crucial part of the squad lately. Steven Naismith has made it clear he is looking for another club." #ncfc

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2 hours ago, Bullitt said:

That happened in grass parks...

Yes and the risk of agrivating a previous injury when you are older and want to prolong your career is greater playing every second week on plastic 

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I fear it’s the Jambos - which makes me sick. 

Reading their fans’ forum earlier some of their ‘ITK’ posters seem to think it’s a done deal. 

Really hope it’s a load of rubbish and we see him back at RP though. 

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12 minutes ago, Killiecal said:

I fear it’s the Jambos - which makes me sick. 

Reading their fans’ forum earlier some of their ‘ITK’ posters seem to think it’s a done deal. 

Really hope it’s a load of rubbish and we see him back at RP though. 

There have been plenty of posters on here telling us it was a done deal he was coming to Killie.

Edited by BigD'sGingerLorry

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43 minutes ago, BigD'sGingerLorry said:

There have been plenty of posters on here telling us it was a done deal he was coming to Killie.

True but not from posters who are usually spot on about other stuff with all respect.

Plus my understanding is that we haven’t even approached him or his agent yet...I have no reason to doubt what I’ve been told. 

Hope it’s not true though, as of course I want to see him at Killie. 

 

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Naismith 'unlikely' to sign for Kilmarnock after it's revealed they haven't tried to sign him.

 

Stevie Naismith's protracted move back to Kilmarnock appears to have hit a major snag today as it's been reported they haven't attempted to sign him. Reports have been rife across the internet from various sources including Naismith's auntie's curtain maker, a guy who works in Stewarton and someone who couldn't reveal their source, that Naisy would be resigning for the stripes. However we can today exclusively reveal that a deal is now unlikely given the club haven't approached his current club Norwich or the player himself. 

Another source, who cannot be named but who has links to the Kilmarnock board through his ex wife's second cousin, said today "I just can't see it happening. These transfers usually only go through when the club tries to sign a player. In the modern game it's quite rare that a player will sign for a club that haven't tried to sign him. According to my sauce...It's also likely that Bob Harris, Anton Rogan and Terrence Trent D'arby, who Killie also haven't actually tried to sign, won't be putting pen to paper either." 

Naismith, 31, is now expected to sign on at a club who have tried to sign him. 

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19 minutes ago, WIGHT and BLUE said:

... that won't stop our expert pontification/bullsh*t.

That’s the whole point of the transfer window forum activity surelet.

anyway I want to know when the Italian Zoni Valvio is signing.

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