Five SPFL players good enough for the Premier League to keep an eye on

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) has produced some quality footballers over the past few decades, many of which have gone on to enjoy a stellar career in the English Premier League.

In recent years, the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, John McGinn and Stuart Armstrong have all been spotted by scouts from south of the border. Adding to the likes of Mikel Arteta, Steven Davis and Stylian Petrov who have made successful moves from Scotland to England.

Although Scottish top-flight football is viewed by many as a “farmer’s league”, make no mistake about it, the quality within the SPFL is only getting stronger.

Rangers have returned from the depths of despair, and look set to end Celtic’s hopes of a record-breaking ten league titles in a row, all whilst topping their Europa League group which consisted of both Benfica and Standard Liege.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 29: Steven Gerrard, Manager of Rangers looks on during the Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between Hearts and Rangers at Tynecastle Park on February 29, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MARK RUNNACLES/GETTY IMAGES.

The Green side of Glasgow has also been a force to reckon with in Europe over the past few seasons as well, securing wins against the respected likes of RB Leipzig, Lazio and Lille.

So there’s no denying the quality of players that are currently in the SPFL, but who do we think is good enough to cut it in the Premier League?

James Tavernier – Rangers

Rangers skipper James Tavernier is no stranger to English football, having spent six years moving around the football league before moving up to Glasgow in 2015. Despite a shaky start to his career at Ibrox, Tavernier has proved his doubters wrong and has gone on to establish himself as a quality right-back.

With 17 goals and 15 assists already this season, the attacking full-back has been enjoying life under Steven Gerrard’s stewardship. So much so, that there have even been some calls from Gers supporters that an England call-up shouldn’t be too far away in the future.

Rangers’ James Tavernier gestures during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES.

One thing for sure is that Tavernier will have caught the attention of potential suitors in England, and it may not be too long before he adds to the two Premier League appearances he made back in the 2012/13 campaign with Newcastle.

Odsonne Edouard – Celtic

Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard is no stranger to speculation linking his future away from Scotland. The French forward has been in demand ever since he permanently joined the club from PSG in 2018.

Despite struggling with injuries this term, Edouard was the league’s top goal scorer the previous campaign, scoring 21 goals and assisting another 12 in only 27 appearances.

The Frenchman’s quality is there for all to see, and at the age of 23, this talented young striker’s best years are still yet to come.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 23: Odsonne Edouard of Celtic
celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Livingston at Celtic Park on November 23, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY IAN MACNICOL/GETTY IMAGES.

Unfortunately for Celtic fans, however, it may well be a case of when not if Edouard decides to leave the club, and there have been recent reports that his former manager Brendan Rodgers may be interested in taking him to high-flyers Leicester City.

Borna Barisic – Rangers

Another Rangers full-back who we think would be good enough for the Premier League is Croatian international Borna Barisic, whose left foot has been lighting up Ibrox over the past three seasons.

Having signed from Croatian outfit Osijek in the summer of 2018, Barisic has gone on to cement his place in the Rangers starting eleven, as well as establishing himself as a starter within the national squad.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 01: Borna Barisic of Rangers is seen after Alfredo Morelos of Rangers scores the opening goal during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY IAN MACNICOL/GETTY IMAGES.

The 28-year-old has been in superb form this season as well and has featured in 33 appearances for Rangers, out of a possible 36. Similar to Tavernier, Barisic has also been an assist king, setting up no less than 13 goals for his teammates so far this campaign.

He also boasts a wand of a left foot and is more than capable of producing something magic in a dead ball situation. Something a lot of Premier League clubs could do with for next season.

Glen Kamara – Rangers

Arguably Rangers’ most important player at the moment, Glen Kamara has been an instrumental member of Gerrard’s midfield this season. Signed from Dundee for a bargain fee of £50,000 in January 2019, Kamara has gone on to establish himself as one of the first names on the manager’s team sheet every week.

It has been an incredible rise to stardom for the Finnish international, who was released from Premier League giants Arsenal in 2017, after failing to impress in loan spells at both Southend United and Colchester United.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 02: Glen Kamara of Rangers is challenged by Ryan Christie of Celtic during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on January 02, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY IAN MACNICOL/GETTY IMAGES.

Despite his struggles in England, Kamara has turned his career around and progressed into a fine player, one that wouldn’t look out of place in the Gunners midfield at this given moment.

Comfortable on the ball and boasting a strong physique, Rangers fans will be hoping to keep hold of their midfield maestro for a little while longer.

David Turnbull – Celtic

By their own admissions, Celtic have been experiencing a terrible season, and look set to miss out on that illustrious tenth title in a row. However, one of the positives in this bleak campaign has been their summer signing David Turnbull.

Despite struggling to break into the first team at the start of his Parkhead career, Turnbull has since won over manager Neil Lennon and has put in the sort of performances which warranted interest from Newcastle United last summer.

The Scottish international has netted five times already, and has featured all across the midfield positions, as well as filling in as a second striker, where he grabbed a goal and an assist in the win over Lille.

Celtic supporters will be optimistic that Turnbull will go on to perform even better over the coming years in Scotland, but at the age of 21, there’s still plenty of time for Premier League clubs to take another interest in the midfielder.

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