Glasgow Rangers cult hero Alex Rae has named reported Ibrox target Vaclav Hladky as St Mirren’s top player so far this season, as per the Scottish Sun.
The 29-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Steven Gerrard’s side during the January transfer window, but nothing came of it in the end.
However, Hladky’s contract expires at the end of the season, making him an enticing proposition for prospective suitors, who could snap him up for absolutely nothing.
Indeed, St Mirren captain Sam Foley fears he might not see Hladky back in a Saints kit if the football suspension continues into the summer.
“He’s had an unbelievable season and he is an unbelievable goalkeeper,” Foley told PA, as per the Evening Express.
“There’s no doubt in my mind he will end up playing at a much higher level than the Scottish Premiership. It’s only a matter of time.
“It’s not just Vaclav, there are a lot of other guys whose contacts expire and it’s a shame if we don’t get to see them again in a St Mirren kit.”
The Czech ace has been in brilliant form for St Mirren this season, keeping 10 clean sheets in the Premiership and 14 in all competitions.
And Rae believes Hladky’s efforts have made him more important for the league’s ninth-placed side than 12-goal striker Jonathan Obika.
“He just beats Jon Obika,” Rae wrote in the Scottish Sun about the 6ft 3in giant. “I know Obika’s scored some important goals but Hladky has 10 clean sheets.
“For me he’s at least 10 points of a difference because he is one of the stand-out goalkeepers in the division.”
While Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor continues to stand out for the Light Blues, the fact he’s 39 next season means Gerrard may have to start planning for the future in between the sticks.
Truth be told, how often does the opportunity arise to snap up one of the division’s top players for absolutely nothing?
Hladky will have completed 18 months in Scottish football by the time his contract runs out, so he’s familiar with the league and the teams within.
Given every point makes a difference when it comes to Rangers and Celtic’s title battle, a player who can earn his side “at least 10 points” extra a season should be high on the Ibrox side’s wishlist.