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St. Johnstone's Out-of-Contract Players: Part 3

Saints have a big task on their hands this summer and will have to bring quality players into the club without a doubt, but by tying down some of the players whose contracts are expiring, they can provide a solid base for next season.

This is the 3rd and final part looking at St. Johnstone's 14 out-of-contract players. We have covered the first 10 players HERE and HERE.

Jacob Butterfield

31-year-old midfielder Jacob Butterfield joined St. Johnstone on a free transfer in December, with the Englishman being without a club following his release from Australian side Melbourne in July.

Butterfield instantly came into the side and did an okay job in the centre of the park, with some tidy passing to keep the game ticking over, although, he lacked the energy that was perhaps desired in that role.

His best moments came when he was able to sit and dictate the play, with the other 2 midfielders sitting ahead of him. When Saints were under the cosh he often left a bit to be desired.

[Butterfield in action]

Butterfield proved a handy player at times, scoring and assisting once in the half-season he spent in Perth. The door is still open for him to stay at McDiarmid Park, although with his age, wage demands and his position in the midfield pecking order I would expect him to be departing the club in the summer upon the expiration of his deal.

Nadir Ciftci

Former Dundee United Striker Nadir Ciftci joined Saints early in the January window, causing a mixed response from the St. Johnstone faithful. On one hand, there was the feeling that if he was even close to the player he was in tangerine, then he could fire the club to safety, but on the other hand, his form since leaving Tannadice was ropey, to say the least, which resulted in some doubts.

The signing was a risk worth taking and he did initially look good on his debut against Heart of Midlothian, but it was downhill from that moment onwards, with a hamstring injury against Dundee disrupting the Turkish Striker, who never returned to form.

[Ciftic shields the ball]

He scored 0 goals for the club in 12 games, failing to get off of the mark and often looking unfit or disinterested up top. Ciftci did not play a part in either play-off game, remaining an unused substitute.

It is highly unlikely that Ciftci will remain a St. Johnstone player after the summer. It is reported that he is one of the highest earners at the club and he really has not done anything to warrant the game time he got. There are much better options at the football club and out there in general

Glenn Middleton

Attacker Glenn Middleton initially joined Saints on loan in January of 2021, hitting his stride towards the end of the season and being instrumental in the Scottish Cup win. He then rejoined the side on loan once again from Rangers for the 2021/22 campaign.

Middleton struggled for game time throughout the season, showing flashes of potential but often being played out of position, with Davidson not utilising Wingers this season. When he was in the side he looked like a good outlet and towards the end of the season became a key player.

[Middleton celebrates scoring]

If St. Johnstone can afford to bring Middleton to Perth once again, either on a loan or a permanent deal then I think that they should. His Rangers deal runs for another year, but it is pretty clear that he won't be breaking into the side anytime soon.

Middleton is a good player and he seems to be happy at the club, if it is possible then I could easily see him becoming a permanent addition to the side.

Callum Hendry

Striker Callum Hendry joined the club in 2017, breaking through in the 2019/20 season, when he scored 6 goals, hitting his stride just as the season was curtailed due to the pandemic.

Hendry then struggled for form the following season, being shipped out on loan to Aberdeen where he finished as top scorer, before coming back to Saints and struggling again, before heading to Tommy Wright's Kilmarnock.

Hendry was recalled early from his loan in January 2022, going straight into the line-up and tearing it up. Hendry scored 9 goals in just 18 games after returning from his loan spell and without him, it is incredibly unlikely that Saints would have stayed up.

[Callum Hendry celebrates]

Hendry has played a total of 93 games for Saints, scoring 21 goals and grabbing 4 assists - scoring a goal roughly every 210 minutes.

Callum Hendry will be sorely missed if he does leave McDiarmid Park in the summer, his impact on the team this season was incredible and his form saved St. Johnstone from almost certain relegation. There are undoubtedly teams looking at signing the 24-year-old, but hopefully, Saints can convince him to stay at the club.

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