Lawrence Shankland’s transfer options assessed with potential destinations of Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen and Dundee Utd


News that Lawrence Shankland could be heading for the Germinal Beerschot exit will put Scottish Premiership clubs on high alert.

The Scotland international has scored just three times in 14 appearances for the Belgian side since transferring £ 1million to the Premier League.

The hope was that Shankland would help send De Mannekes back to safety, but they are rooted at the bottom of the board, ten RFC Seraing points above them.

The season appears to be a lost cause and the Daily Mail reports they could be on the verge of cutting their losses and moving Shankland forward.

It might be easier said than done this window.

FIFA rules state that a player can be registered with three clubs in a season, but can only play with two.

Given that Shankland scored three goals in five games for Dundee United under Tam Courts before returning in August, Tannadice is his only possible destination if he wants to play again this season.

No club are likely to pay a player to sit in the stands until June, but a summer move could prove tempting for a number of top clubs.

Football Scotland are weighing up who might be best and fittest if a change of domicile is what Shankland wants.

Dundee United

Tam Courts and Lawrence Shankland

They say never to go back but as previously acknowledged United are the only club Shankland can play for this season if he leaves Beerschot.

A loan until the end of the campaign would be the most likely scenario, with United struggling to score goals.

A return to familiar surroundings for the striker might appeal as he seeks to put a sterile spell in Belgium behind him.

However, the striker was hardly prolific for the Tayside club in his last season under Micky Mellon, so wouldn’t necessarily guarantee a fortune pickup in front of goal for the Courts’ men.


Robbie Neilson and Lawrence Shankland
Robbie Neilson and Lawrence Shankland

It was Robbie Neilson who took Shankland to Tannadice from Ayr United while United were still in the league.

Many top clubs watched, but none took the plunge and Neilson was the beneficiary as Shankland scored 28 goals in 33 games to return the Tangerines to the league title in 2019/20.

It probably would have been more if the season hadn’t been cut short because of Covid.

Hearts need a striker or two this window, although they may be on the prowl again this summer depending on the type of chords they bring new faces to. End-of-season loans would see them looking again in May.

The relationship exists between Neilson and Shankland, and European football just might be a carrot to draw players to Tynecastle next season.


Lawerence Shankland celebrates 1-0 at Dundee Untied against Hibs
Lawerence Shankland celebrates 1-0 at Dundee Untied against Hibs

Shaun Maloney’s desire to sign a striker will depend heavily on what happens with Kevin Nisbet.

The former Dunfermline frontman has fallen short this season after scoring 18 goals in his debut campaign at Easter Road.

That being said, the interest never seems to go away and could return this summer. Depending on how he plays for the rest of the season, Maloney could be looking for another option up there anyway.

Shankland would appear to be a decent replacement on paper. Was ahead of Nisbet in the Scottish pecking order until the start of the year and has shown up close what he can do with goals against the Hibees in the past.


Lawrence Shankland during his days in Aberdeen
Lawrence Shankland during his days in Aberdeen

The Dons took their chances on Shankland after starting his career with Queen’s Park, moving at the same time as teammates Aidan Connolly and Andy Robertson headed to Dundee United.

Despite being a regular goalscorer at youth level, he struggled to make the breakthrough at first-team level, with the majority of his 17 appearances for club PIttodrie coming as a substitute and was eventually cleared. leaving for Ayr United after loans to Dunfermline, St Mirren and Morton.

Christian Ramirez is Steven Glass’s (and arguably Dave Cormack) favorite option, although Shankland may well prove to be a good foil for the great American.

It remains to be seen if a return to the Northeast would be something the player is keen on, but on paper it would appear to be the kind of signing Aberdeen could make.


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