St Johnstone captain Jason Kerr was this morning linked with a £400k move to Bournemouth. As probably one of the most impressive central defenders in the Scottish Premiership last season the 24 year old has less than a year remaining on his contract with the Perth double winners. A move to England seems likely unless Celtic decide to intervene. Niall J at the beginning of May outlined why Kerr would be a lost cost but ideal option to replace Kris Ajer who will be leaving the club this summer.
Extracts from his article is below with a slight update to acknowledge the subsequent success for St Johnstone – Scotland’s Cup Invincibles – in the Scottish Cup Final later that month. Here’s some of what Niall had to say…
Jason Kerr – St Johnstone
If Celtic are to look to home grown players to strengthen the squad it may well be worth considering St Johnstone captain Jason Kerr as a player ready to make the step up. Kerr has recently turned 24 and is reaching the perfect time in his career to test himself at a higher level. To do this Kerr needs to be looking to a club with regular European football. On the back of a top six finish and leaving as a Domestic double trophy winning Saint’s Captain now may be the best time to bow out, and for Celtic it wouldn’t be breaking the back of a limited budget to test the Saints resolve with a bid for their on-field leader this summer.
For me Kerr is the best defender in Scotland outside the top two. It must be a head scratcher for Saints fans as to how their Captain has been overlooked for international recognition so far this season, especially when he had been capped six times at Under 21 level. With over 100 appearances under his belt now at St Johnstone, allied to a further 85 appearances on loan prior to breaking into the team at Queen of the South and East Fife, Kerr has certainly earned his stripes and was rewarded for his excellent performances when awarded the captaincy at Perth after the departure of Joe Shaughnessy.
Kerr is a composed footballing defender, controlled in possession he has similar traits to Kris Ajer in the way he likes to bring the ball out from the back in St Johnstone’s three at the back formation, break the lines and start attacks, perfect for a Celtic team with lines to break. He is strong in the tackle and is an impressive reader of the game and very disciplined positionally. Allied to that he perhaps has one edge to his game that Ajer lacks – goals. As well as Kerr defends his own box, he is also a threat in the opposition area with 20 goals to his name already. Certainly a good return for a defender.
With only a year left on his contract – it expires in May 2022 – the Cup Invincible Saints would be hard pushed to expect a huge fee for the player and Celtic could reasonably expect to turn the players head, particularly with international ambitions that have thus far been overlooked while playing for what some may deem an unfashionable club. £400k seems the asking price. Makes perfect sense.
Success brings attention and Jason Kerr alongside a couple of others in the St Johnstone team will be attracting attention in the next few weeks when the transfer window opens.
Jason Kerr will move on to a bigger club and he will also be a Scottish international sooner rather than later, perhaps both those things could be achieved with a move to Celtic but the club will have to move fast. With St Johnstone winning both domestic cups there are more than a few coveting the young St Johnstone Captain, and with Celtic looking for someone assist Christopher Jullien next season it would be wise to look closer to home for the solution.