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Can Aberdeen Compete Next Term?

Date: 25th July 2018

Some of the media reaction to Aberdeen selling Adam Rooney to non-league English side Salford City has been ridiculous to say the least.

The Irishman wasn’t as prolific for the Dons last term and the Pittodrie club didn’t fight to keep hold of the striker. He has left with their blessing and he’ll make more money down south.

In all honesty, I think it’s good business from Derek McInnes and the Aberdeen board. You have to live within your means in Scottish football and if a squad player can be shifted on and you can use that wage for a younger, hungrier replacement then what’s the problem?

Plus let’s not forget that Aberdeen have previously knocked back £2m for centre-back Scott McKenna. They clearly aren’t in need of the money, they do business prudently and in a way that suits Aberdeen.

People may scoff that The Dons want closer to £10m for McKenna, but the player performed well in the first-team and hoped them to their second place finish in the Scottish Premiership. He then went on to make his international debut for Scotland and he has equipped himself well in the Scottish jersey.

The defender is on a long-term contract that runs until 2023, so they don’t need to sell for the first £1m plus offer that comes along.

Next season, is yet another big one for Aberdeen.

After rejecting overtures from Sunderland and Rangers, McInnes will once again be at the helm.

The forty-seven year old has already guided The Dandies to a second placed finish in the last four seasons. He’ll be desperate to hold off any challenges from Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, Neil Lennon’s Hibs side or Craig Levein’s Hearts team to continue to finish in the top flight’s runners-up spot.

The aim should be closing the gap on Celtic. They finished just nine points behind the champions but the aim should always be improving and that means trying to close the gap and even dreaming of winning the title.

More realistically, the Dons boss and his players should be looking at breaking Celtic’s greedy stranglehold of winning all the meaningful silverware in Scotland. Under McInnes, Aberdeen have only lifted one trophy and that was the League Cup in 2014. It’s not unrealistic for them to challenge in more finals this season.

The current squad looks good, although a bit small.

McKenna is a very good talent to have at the back, Joe Lewis is still one of the best goalkeepers in the Premiership and Niall McGinn is a proven creative match winner in the past.

They also have a strong core group of good players that have been at Pittodrie for a while and who all seem to perform regularly in our top division.

McInnes has made some good looking signings so far this summer too.

I liked the look of Lewis Ferguson at Hamilton Accies last season. The eighteen year old gives you a physical presence in midfield and has a vast amount of untapped potential.

Irish international Stephen Gleeson arrives with plenty of English Championship experience and another middle man in Chris Forrester has also joined, as McInnes looks to replace talisman Kenny McLean.

Defender Tommie Hoban has joined on loan from Watford. The twenty-four year old impressed early on at The Hornets before injury stalled his career. It’s hoped he can stay fully fit and regain his form at Aberdeen.

Experienced goalie Tomas Cerny has also arrived. The former Patrick Thistle and Accies shot-stopper will give added goalkeeping competition to keep Joe Lewis on his toes.

Looking at The Dandies squad and you have to think that finding a goalscoring striker has to be the manager’s top priority.

Nicky Maynard and Rooney have both left. Current forwards Stevie May, Sam Cosgrove and McGinn didn’t score enough last term and they’ll all hope to improve but the Dons board will need to try and bring in at least one other hitman in the hope of giving their team more goals.

Aberdeen’s success in recent seasons shouldn’t be underplayed. They’ve been consistently good and that’s seen them become Celtic’s main challengers.

Obviously other sides will try and overtake them this year but Aberdeen, with a few extra faces, should be aiming for more next season and it will be interesting to see if they can succeed again in 2018/19.

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