St. Johnstone is close to the capture of Canadian Forward Theo Bair, with the club set to secure his services from Vancouver Whitecaps, on a deal until the Summer of 2024.
[Bair heading the ball]
Bair will likely not be a familiar face for most Saints fans, so here is all you need to know about St. Johnstone's potential new Striker.
Full name: Thelonius Bair
Preferred Foot: Right
Bair joined the Vancouver Whitecaps academy aged 15 and graduated to the senior team in 2018, with his breakout season being 2018/19 when he would make his debut in the second half of the season.
Theo played 18 games for the Whitecaps that season, scoring twice and assisting twice in just over 900 minutes of football. Bair was utilised across the frontline throughout his maiden senior campaign, playing on both Wings, just behind the Striker and as an out-and-out Centre-Forward.
[Bair runs with the ball]
Bair played 17 games the following season, however, the campaign was blighted by the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic. This halted the season and overall, he only managed 1 goal in just 532 minutes of football.
Last season Bair played 4 games for Vancouver Whitecaps, failing to score, before heading out on loan to Norwegian second-tier outfit Hamarkameratene where he would make 18 appearances - scoring 4 goals - as his team won the league, a drastic improvement from their 9th placed finish the previous year, returning to the top flight for the first time since 2008.
He returned to Vancouver Whitecaps and was included in their pre-season tour in January 2022, with fans eager to see more of the young talent. He is highly thought of in Canada.
[Vancouver Whitecaps fans interview Theo Bair]
Theo Bair is desperate for game time and wants to test himself to the fullest. Hopefully he can do that in Perth.
What Type of Player is Bair?
Theo Bair is a tall forward who can play all across a front 3, making him incredibly versatile. He is a quick player who enjoys running at defenses with the ball, he is often involved in quick counter-attacks
[Bair's own highlights from 2019]
He is only young and is not a prolific goal scorer yet, but he has played at a pretty high level in the MLS, as well as earning 2 caps for Canada - scoring once in a 4-1 defeat of Barbados.
Bair is a promising young talent and certainly, someone who will be wanting to make an impact, he is different from what we already have and offers a different type of threat, especially due to his height.
He is also known for scoring one of the MLS's all-time greatest goals when he produced this incredible piece of skill against Portland Timbers to draw his side level back in 2019. His first goal in professional football!
[An outrageous strike]
If he could just replicate that for Saints then he would be one hell of a signing.
What Does This Signing Mean?
Well with Callum Hendry returning from his loan spell with Kilmarnock earlier this week this means that St. Johnstone currently has 6 players capable of playing up front in the squad; May, Kane, Vertainen, Ciftci, Hendry, and now Bair.
All of these players will be vying for the same 2 Striking positions, which could mean that we see at least one player depart. Personally, I think that Eetu Vertainen's position is most under threat - with his limited game time and public criticism received from the manager telling of his place in the squad.
Although, Nadir Ciftci's recent injury will likely keep him out for the next 4-6 weeks. This means that there is a huge opening in the side, with no one a nailed-on starter up top as of yet, this provides a great opportunity. Who will grab it?
It will be interesting to see how the squad looks by the 1st of February.
Davidson is said to want to sign Bair in the coming days, with the transfer deadline on Monday night looming large, however, it is thought that a deal is all but done.