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Permanent deals are best route forward, says Ross County manager Malky Mackay

Ross County manager Malky Mackay.
Ross County manager Malky Mackay.

Malky Mackay is driving down the amount of loan players arriving at Ross County as the Scottish Premiership club look to the future.

The Staggies manager this week added midfielders Yan Danda, 23, Victor Loturi, 21, and defender George Harmon, 21, ahead of the squad jetting off for a week of training in Verona, northern Italy.

Canadian playmaker Loturi comes in on a three-year deal, while two-year contracts were signed by Dhanda and Harmon.

Latest arrivals, from left: Yan Dhanda, George Harmon and Victor Loturi.

Delighted to land the trio as a starting point, Mackay stressed County are planning for the longer-term when it comes to recruiting, which is a far cry from when he arrived in the job a year ago and needed a major rebuild.

He said: “I would hope 12 months from now we’re down that line of permanent deals even further.

“It was always going to be difficult at the start, when you lose so many players, to try and bring everyone in on permanent deals – (players) that were going to have an effect on the team.

“Knowing we were going to lose six players this summer was not good, but it is something you have to deal with.

“The more permanent deals we sign and longer-term contracts we give, the more we (will achieve) succession planning.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay.

“We can then have players move on from this club for fees, which is good for the player and good for the club. There is more chance that players won’t just be walking (away) out of contract.

“That’s part of the whole recruitment conversation I had with chairman Roy MacGregor and chief executive Steven Ferguson when I came. We had to make the squad management part of our business, as well as obviously having great benefit for the team.

“There is a pathway for the academy boys now, which has started to take shape, for the longer-term benefit of the club.”

Loan numbers being driven down

Although permanent deals are clearly the best option, Mackay appreciates the door cannot be closed on loan players and that will still happen in the transfer window.

He said: “We are trying to move away from the loans, although we will still have to do that this year, but, as the seasons go on, hopefully there will be more permanence.

“Next season, I’m not looking for nine or 10, I am looking for three or four. The next season it will be two or three.

“You then have a general squad that has a healthiness about it in terms of knowing where we are going with a plan.”

Loanees can still strike gold for club

And the County boss pointed to the success of several loanees to highlight why there is certainly still good reason to use that market.

Joseph Hungbo was a real success on loan from Watford last season.

He added: “You saw from Joe (Hungbo) from Watford and Jack (Burroughs) from Coventry, Ash (Maynard-Brewer) at Charlton and Harry (Clarke) at Arsenal, they can make a big impact.

“It can help their careers as well and move them back to their clubs to see where they can go from there.”

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