Stephen Robinson predicts Connor Ronan will shine in Europe after being named PDE St Mirren player of the year

Manager Stephen Robinson believes midfield maestro Connor Ronan has the talent to shine in Europe after picking up the Paisley Daily Express St Mirren player of the year award.

The talented 24-year-old made a huge impact during his season-long loan spell from Wolves, tying striker Eamonn Brophy as the season’s top scorer having notched eight goals from the middle of the park.

His scintillating form in Paisley saw him called up the Republic of Ireland international squad for the first time in March, following in the footsteps of former Buddie – and last year’s winner – Jamie McGrath.

Ronan saw off some fierce competition from skipper Joe Shaughnessy, goalkeeper Jak Alnwick and playmaker Greg Kiltie, who finished second, third and fourth respectively.

While his future remains unclear as several teams court his signature, Saints boss Robinson believes Ronan has the skill to compete at the top level in the UK or on the continent.

Robinson told Express Sport: “Connor is a truly excellent player.

“He’s a real creative spark and I honestly could have done with about five of him!

“He’s a very good trainer, he’s a super goalscorer and he’s got fantastic vision as well.

“You could play him as a deeper lying midfielder or a more attacking one, he’s good enough to play all over the midfield.

“The best compliment I can give him is that he reminds me of Steven Davis, who I played alongside and then coached for Northern Ireland.

“Like Steven he’s just so intelligent on and off the ball, a manager’s dream really.

“We’d have loved to have kept him but I know there are a hell of a lot of clubs interested in him, unsurprisingly.

“I can actually see him playing abroad again and I’m sure wherever he goes he’ll make an impact again.”

Former Saints striker and BBC presenter Steven Thompson was hugely impressed with Ronan’s impact at the SMISA Stadium.

He believes the Buddies were at their best in the 2021/22 campaign when Ronan was firing on all cylinders.

Thompson said: “Connor is just so intelligent and so comfy on the ball. When Saints were at their best this season it was largely down to him.

“He posed such a goal threat and his quality and accuracy in front of goal really stood out for me.

“When you’ve not got a striker who is banging in a solid amount of goals, you rely on them coming from elsewhere and he really delivered for St Mirren this season.

“I gave him goal of the season for his thunderous effort against Rangers, but his goal against Hearts was equally impressive. The accuracy of his strikes is incredible.

“There’s real similarities between him and Jamie McGrath. They were both fantastic signings but unfortunately, like McGrath, we’ve only been able to enjoy them for a short period of time.

“He might not break into the Wolves team next season, but I can see him doing very well at an English Championship club on loan.”

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