Craig Wighton

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Craig Wighton
Personal information
Full name Craig Ross Wighton
Date of birth (1997-07-27) 27 July 1997 (age 20)
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Dundee
Number 33
Youth career
2012–2013 Dundee
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2013– Dundee 73 (7)
2014–2015 Brechin City (loan) 4 (2)
2015–2016 Raith Rovers (loan) 16 (1)
National team
2012 Scotland U15 1 (0)
2013 Scotland U16 3 (0)
2013–2014 Scotland U17 13 (6)
2015–2016 Scotland U19 5 (0)
2017– Scotland U20 4 (1)
2016– Scotland U21 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:55, 31 July 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:00, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

Craig Ross Wighton (born 27 July 1997) is a Scottish professional footballer who currently plays as a forward for Dundee in the Scottish Premiership. He has also played on loan for Brechin City and Raith Rovers.

Club career[edit]

Dundee[edit]

Youth[edit]

While attending Harris Academy, Wighton was snapped by Dundee under the management of Barry Smith, the team he supported as a boy.[1] He came through the same training clinic, run by Ian Cathro, as fellow Scottish prospects Ryan Gauld and John Souttar. Wighton revealed he turned down a move to local rivals Dundee United, as his family are Dundee supporters.[2] While growing up, Wighton initially played out wide before joining Dundee, who then moved him into the striker position.[3]

Manager John Brown said in March 2013 that if Wighton continued his form at youth level he could soon make the first team, which could have meant him becoming the club's youngest-ever first-team player.[1] His first team debut for the club was delayed due to SPL rules.[4] Despite interest from elsewhere,[5] Wighton signed his first professional contract on his 16th birthday.[6] After signing a professional contract, he left school to concentrate on his football career.[7]

2013–14[edit]

In the 2013–14 season, Wighton made his debut for the club, coming on as a substitute for Craig Beattie in the 81st minute, as Dundee beat Cowdenbeath 2–0 on 5 October 2013.[8] In his second appearance, Wighton set up two goals as Dundee beat Dumbarton 4–1 on 12 October 2013.[9] He then made his first start for the club, as Dundee beat Queen of the South 2–1 on 19 October 2013.[10]

He became the youngest-ever scorer in a competitive game for Dundee at the age of 16 years, three months and 13 days on 9 November 2013, beating the record held by Jocky Scott, scoring a goal in a 2–0 win against Raith Rovers.[11] His second goal came on 14 April 2014, when he scored after six minutes, as Dundee beat Cowdenbeath 4–0.[12] Throughout his debut season he regularly contributed in the Dundee first team, making a total of 14 appearances and scoring two goals for the club, in all competitions[13] as Dundee won the Scottish Championship. Throughout the season Wighton was linked with a move to Premier League clubs and Rangers.[14][15] At the end of the 2013–14 season, the club's manager Paul Hartley said he may consider loaning out Wighton to gain first team experience with the hope he could "do a Stevie May," the striker who Hartley had on loan at Alloa Athletic from St Johnstone in 2011–12 and had gone on to be a first team regular in the Scottish Premiership, earning a move to Sheffield Wednesday.[16]

2014–15[edit]

On 16 August 2014, Wighton scored his first Premiership goal as Dundee drew 1–1 with Partick Thistle,[17] although afterwards, Hartley said he didn't want to talk too much about Wighton, but did announce he had signed a new three-year contract.[18] As a result of his performance, the club decided not to send Wighton on loan.[19]

On 18 December 2014, Wighton moved on a short-term loan to Brechin City.[20] After making his debut as a substitute he went on to score two in three starting appearances.

2015–16[edit]

On 23 June 2015, after much speculation it was finally confirmed that Wighton had joined Raith Rovers on a six-month loan deal.[21] On 3 January 2016, it was confirmed that following Wighton's loan spell at Raith Rovers he had returned to Dundee.[22] Wighton managed to add 2 goals to his name after returning to the club from his loan spell, he came off the bench to score in a empathic 5-2 Victory over Ross County and more noticeably he scored a 93rd minute winning goal in a Dundee derby, a result which confirmed that rivals Dundee United would be relegated.[23]

2016–17[edit]

Wighton signed a three-year contract with Dundee in June 2016.[23]

Wighton picked up a Man of the Match award with a impressive performance in a 2-0 Victory over Motherwell having set up both goals. After a frustrating season with the club just avoiding relegation Wighton revealed that his glimpse's of quality through out the season were not good enough as he was determined to show more consistency the season after.

2017-18[edit]

After heavily impressing manager Neil McCann in pre-season, Wighton picked up a knee ligament injury which would see him out of the team for at least half a year potentially missing out on the whole season. A season which was described to be "Very Crucial" for Wighton's development and career, McCann also went on to say he was "heartbroken" for the youngster due to the situation.[24]

Style of Play[edit]

His then teammate at Dundee, Gavin Rae said Wighton's playing style reminds him of Aaron Ramsey, who Rae played alongside in his time at Cardiff City.[25] Then assistant Manager Ray Farningham described Wighton as "one of the top young prospects in the Scottish game."[26]

International career[edit]

Wighton represented the Scotland Under-15 side once and also played for the Under-16's.[27]

He was chosen to be part of the Scotland Under-17 squad for the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.[28] On 23 September 2013, Wighton scored a hat-trick (the first in his professional career), as Scotland beat Slovenia Under-17 3–1.[29] Scotland made it through to the semi-final, however they were eliminated from the competition as they lost 5–0 to the Netherlands.[30]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 31 July 2017[31][32]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Dundee 2013–14 13 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 14 2
2014–15 16 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 17 1
2015–16 13 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 15 2
2016–17 31 2 1 0 3 0 0 0 35 2
2017–18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 73 7 5 0 3 0 0 0 81 7
Brechin City (loan) 2014–15 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
Raith Rovers (loan) 2015–16 16 1 0 0 3 0 2 0 21 1
Career total 93 10 5 0 6 0 2 0 106 10

Honours[edit]

Dundee

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "John Brown: Wighton could join line-up". Evening Telegraph. 29 March 2013. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  2. ^ McLean, Euan (26 March 2014). "Dundee starlet Craig Wighton reveals why he had to snub move to Tannadice". Daily Record. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Kell, Tom (10 May 2014). "Wighton on his and Scotland's learning curve". UEFA.com. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Kennedy, Liam (26 April 2013). "Dundee FC put contract talks on hold". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Dundee boss confident of keeping young star". The Courier. 26 April 2013. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Kennedy, Liam (6 June 2013). "Bomber: Youngsters will get a chance". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Robertson, Neil (7 March 2014). "Dundee boss keen for Craig Wighton to develop at Dens". The Courier. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Flynn, Stephen (8 October 2013). "Wighton staking claim for spot in Dundee team". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Kennedy, Liam (14 October 2013). "MacDonald the main man as Dundee trounce Dumbarton". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Craig Wighton set for first Dundee start". Evening Telegraph. 18 October 2013. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Duthie, Tom (14 November 2013). "Sweet 16: Dundee's youngest scorers". eveningtelegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Match Report: Dundee 4 – 0 Cowdenbeath". BBC Sport. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Kennedy, Liam (10 October 2013). "Swansea and Sunderland eye up Dundee teen Wighton". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  15. ^ Duthie, Tom (28 November 2013). "Arsenal keep Dundee and United kids in their sights". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Robertson, Neil (22 May 2014). "Dundee may send Craig Wighton to do a Stevie May". The Courier. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  17. ^ Crawford, Kenny (16 August 2014). "Dundee 1–1 Partick Thistle". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Crawford, Kenny (16 August 2014). "Craig Wighton: Dundee manager tries not to overhype youngster". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Dundee scrap plans to send Craig Wighton on loan". Daily Express. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "WIGHTON JOINS BRECHIN ON LOAN". Dundee F.C. 18 December 2014. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "WIGHTON JOINS RAITH ON LOAN". Dundee F.C. 23 June 2015. Archived from the original on 23 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "WIGHTON RETURNS FROM LOAN". Dundee F.C. 3 January 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  23. ^ a b "Craig Wighton: Dundee striker signs new three-year deal". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 June 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  24. ^ "NEIL MCCANN HEARTBROKEN FOR DUNDEE FORWARD CRAIG WIGHTON AFTER LIGAMENT INJURY". The Evening Telegraph. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017. 
  25. ^ Flynn, Stephen (13 November 2013). "Young Dundee star reminds Rae of Arsenal top man Ramsey". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  26. ^ Duthie, Tom (4 December 2013). "Wighton's confidence won't be knocked". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Craig Wighton player profile". Scottish FA. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "Scotland U17 squad named for Euro elite round". scottishfa.co.uk. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "Slovenia U17 1 Scotland U17 3: Hat-trick for Dundee striker Craig Wighton". The Courier. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  30. ^ Stewart, Craig P. (19 May 2014). "Netherlands 5–0 Scotland: Positives for U-17s". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  31. ^ Craig Wighton at Soccerbase
  32. ^ Craig Wighton at Soccerway

External links[edit]