MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 09:05:51

One in, two out at St Mirren

Romanian defender Mihai Popescu arrived while Cammy Smith and Adam Eckersley departed.

St Mirren have signed Romanian defender Mihai Popescu after Cammy Smith became the latest departure in Oran Kearney's January clear-out.

Centre-back Popescu has arrived from Dinamo Bucharest on loan until the end of the season but Saints then have the option to buy the 25-year-old.

Creative midfielder Smith signed for Dundee United on a two-year deal to become the 11th player to exit the club this month following Adam Eckersley's departure to Forfar earlier on Thursday.

Popescu started his career with Dinamo but has had several loan spells within Romania.

Kearney told the club's official website: "Mihai is someone who is at a good age. He's 25 and he's not one who is coming here to cut his teeth in football.

"He has plenty of games behind him and plenty of experience in a very tough league.

"It's one we're very confident on and hopefully he'll be a great signing."

Smith scored 16 goals in 84 appearances and was St Mirren's player of the year in their Ladbrokes Championship-winning season but he has only started three games in the past three months.

Kearney told the club's official website: "Cammy goes with a heavy heart.

"It's been a frustrating season for him. He's been in and out of the team and it probably just hasn't happened the way he wanted it to happen.

"But with that he is a young lad who wants football and it's hard to promise the opportunities in the transition that we are at.

"He is adamant he wants to go out and play football and I respect that and have no issue with that.

"I spoke in front of everyone this morning to thank Cammy for his time at the club.

"It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge what Cammy did before I arrived at the club and it's so important to acknowledge that Cammy's contribution over the last couple of years has been nothing short of phenomenal."

Left-back Eckersley has not featured at all this season after returning from a lengthy injury lay-off, and his loan deal takes him to the end of his contract.


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