Updated: Jan 24
Callum Davidson has today announced the signing of 22-year-old Irish Central Defender John Mahon from Irish Premier Division side Sligo Rovers, in his post-match interview following the club's 4th round Scottish Cup exit to Kelty Hearts.
Mahon is a relative unknown in Scotland, with many Saints fans probably unaware of his talent. So with that in mind, here is all you need to know about John Mahon:
Position: Centre Back
Preferred Foot: Right
Nationality: Republic of Ireland
John Mahon came through the Sligo Rovers academy, making his first-team debut in the Second-round of the 'EA Sports Cup' aged just 17, in a 1-0 win over Finn Harps.
Mahon then made 27 appearances in all competitions the following campaign, scoring his first-ever goal in a 2-0 win over Shamrock Rovers with a thumping header past Saints legend Alan Mannus.
The Centre Back further established himself as a regular, being virtually ever-present in the 2018/19 season - turning out 41 times for Sligo Rovers as they finished 7th in the Irish Premier Division.
[John Mahon slides in - Image: Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images]
Mahon only managed 5 appearances, with the 2020 season plagued by a leg break, before the campaign was curtailed early due to Covid-19.
John was back to his best in 2020/21, making 32 appearances in the league as Sligo Rovers finished 3rd in the table, their highest League ranking since winning the division in 2011/12. Mahon was in excellent form, earning himself a 2-year contract extension whilst getting plenty of plaudits - with Irish journalist Paul O'Hehir describing him as "one of the standout centre-backs in the league".
His excellent performances earned him the Bit O’Red Player of The Year Award for 2021, drawing interest from outside of Ireland.
Overall, Mahon has made 107 appearances for Sligo Rovers.
What Type of Player is John Mahon?
Mahon is an athletic Centre Back, who is good with both feet and can fill in at Left Back. He loves a sliding challenge and is comfortable playing out from the back when neccessary. The Irishman is fast on the turn - often having to thwart counter attacks.
[Highlights of Mahon at Sligo]
Sligo Rovers boss Liam Buckley described him as: "He’s a leader in the team and a really strong character".
How Will Mahon Fit in at Saints?
John Mahon will be coming into the side to challenge for a starting place, despite his tender age of 22 for a Centre Back he has had plenty of experience.
[Mahon in action]
He will likely provide competition for McCart on the left hand side, but would also be able to play on the right of the 3 as well. He is young annd will be hungry to break into the team.
Mahon has plenty of potential and could become a key player for Saints in the next couple of years. This is a signing for the future in many regards, but he certainly can have an impact now as well.
How Might This Affect the Squad?
Following the departure of Hayden Muller last week - with the 19 year old recalled by parent club Millwall - St. Johnstone are a bit light in the Centre of defense, especially with Rooney picking up a long-term injury meaning that Brown is no-longer a Centre Back option, with Efe Ambrose linked with a move to Championship strugglers Dunfermline.
Mahon's arrival could spell the end for the Nigerian international, who has not played since October. It may also open the door for Jamie McCart to depart the club, if he has decided he won't be renewing his contract.
However, this move will likely not have an impact on the interest in Robbie Deas who is highly thought of by Callum Davidson who has outlined the Inverness Caledonian Thistle player as his ideal replacement for McCart - should he leave.