Since Aberdeen confirmed the appointment of new manager Derek McInnes on the 25th March, he has made it clear he wants to put his own stamp on the club, and the news that 13 players will be leaving Pittodrie come the end of the season is a clear indication that McInnes is looking to freshen things up at Pittodrie.
Seven players will be allowed to leave the club when their deals expire at the end of the month – Rory Fallon, Mitch Megginson, Rob Milsom, Gary Naysmith, Isaac Osbourne, Gavin Rae and Dan Twardzik. Whle midfielders Stephen Hughes and Jordan Brown have been informed they are now free to find a new club.
Youth players Scott MacAulay, Zach Szemis, Stuart Close and Jamie Hamilton will also be parting ways with Aberdeen. as they fail to make the grade.
The news of so many players departing from the club means there will be a substantial drop in the club’s wage bill, meaning McInnes could be given added scope to bring in new talent as the Pittodrie side look to challenge for a higher league placing next season.
Derek McInnes now faces the challenge of not only finding players of suitable ability to form a reasonable challenge for next season, but also has to add a lot more depth to the squad to give his first team regulars added competition for places as well as additional options to call up.
In the summer, Scottish football will see a sizeable number of players ending their contracts with their current club and this could play into the hands of McInnes, who will have little or no funds to play with in terms of a transfer budget.
So who should McInnes be looking at in the Scottish Football Bosman bargain bucket?
28-year-old midfielder has had a strong season with Dundee Utd and would certainly strengthen the current Aberdeen midfield by adding some flair and good attacking abilities. Would prove hard to tempt away from current club but I’m sure the right offer would be enough.
29-year-old central defender has already stated his desire to leave current club Hearts and would add height and a lot of strength to the Aberdeen defence.
22-year-old midfielder has had a superb season with Inverness and getting a lot of first team performances under his belt. Would be a great investment for the future should Derek McInnes approach him. Doran would add great attacking possibilities to the Aberdeen side and provide great cover to the first squad if not in McInnes immediate first team plans.
23-year-old left-sided defender has become a first team regular with Dundee Utd and has recently been linked with a move to Poland but if McInnes could tempt him to Pittodrie it would surely prove to be a superb acquisition. Douglas has shown time and time again this season he is more than capable of causing problems when going forward as well as being reliable when called up in defence.
There is no denying that the Northern Irishman is a skillful player, however he has failed to make the grade at Celtic and while he is afforded cult stature at the club amongst the fans – he has done little to deserve it other than a few good goals a number of seasons ago. So why should McInnes take a gamble on McCourt? McGinn. Craig Brown took a gamble on McCourt’s former team-mate Niall McGinn and he proved to be the best signing the club has made in recent years. Aberdeen could give him a one year deal to prove his worth to the side and with his skill as well as previous working relationship with McGinn at Derry City and latterly Celtic, his acquisition could prove invaluable to the Dons – if he can remain injury free and secure regular first team football.
The 24-year-old Englishman could provide some added creativity to the Aberdeen midfield, which has been lacking at times and with McGinn up front – could provide McInnes’ side with a few more assists and goals to boost their placing in the SPL. Currently ruled out injured for the rest of the season with broken ribs and a punctured lung, Kilmarnock have offered him a new three-year deal but he has put talks on hold until he regains fitness – which could give Aberdeen the opening to snap him up for nothing.
There are just six potential candidates that could potentially do the business for Aberdeen next season. Who do you think Aberdeen could add to bolster their squad for next season?