Could fit-again Craig Wighton be the key to Dundee moving from a side haunted by relegation to top-six challengers next season?
It’s a question that is somewhat premature because, right now, the Dark Blues’ priority remains ensuring they’re still in the top flight next term.
Saturday’s Dens Park win over St Johnstone was a big step towards achieving that.
There is still work to be done but another win and a couple of draws in the final four fixtures would probably be enough.
Manager Neil McCann doesn’t seem to have bothered working on such equations and has challenged his players to just keep winning.
That’s probably wise and keeps things simple. With a six-point gap to the bottom of the table and five to the relegation play-off place, Dundee know, if they are winning, no one down below can catch them.
If, hopefully when, the points to reach safety are gathered, it’s a sure bet the manager’s thoughts will turn to next season and making sure it’s not a third campaign in a row battling for survival.
For all the problems of the past few months, signs are there it needn’t be.
There is no question Dundee have a decent squad with good Premiership-quality players in most areas. Despite Sofien Moussa’s massive double at the weekend, one area that has definitely been lacking is goals.
In fairness to Moussa, he’s brought more to the team than just his goals.
His robust style keeps defenders honest and his work outside the penalty area gives those in deeper positions good options when getting the ball forward. Likewise, since his loan move from Hibs in January, Simon Murray has put in good work.
What they haven’t been able to do is score as often as has been needed. While the strikers may feel they could have done better, they would also be justified in pointing to a lack of chances created.
Dundee are a team that can pass the ball well from the back and keep possession. What they don’t do in most games is create loads of chances.
That might just be where a fit and healthy Wighton comes in. Although, he would be moved wider as the game unfolded, when he made his first start of an injury-hit season on Saturday, the U/21 international was deployed in a creative role just behind the strikers.
In flashes, and given the length of his time out after snapping a knee ligament last summer no more than that could be expected, the 20-year-old showed his ability to create openings and find pockets of space in the attacking third. He is also capable of getting goals and went close a couple times against Saints.
And the fact he was handed a start after so long out and in such an important game, shows the belief the management team have in him.
He has, incidentally, come back to fitness looking physically stronger and the fact he played 90 minutes at the weekend was significant. Highly rated as he’s been since his early teens, even when starting he hasn’t often completed games.
Now he looks ready to do that on a regular basis, though his increased game time could bring other problems. News Wighton was back fit has not gone unnoticed elsewhere and Saturday saw promotion-chasing English League One outfit Shrewsbury Town send a scout to watch him.
Others from bigger outfits are sure to follow them but, if Dundee can hold on to this prize asset, the goals could be flowing next season.