Aberdeen transfers: The 9 out of contract SPFL stars Jim Goodwin could target
It is shaping up to be a huge summer for Aberdeen and manager Jim Goodwin.
The Dons boss took over from Stephen Glass in February and was unable to guide the side into the top six, failing to hold onto a lead twice against Dundee then losing to Ross County at Pittodrie proving costly on the final game weeks before the split.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Goodwin outlined what he wants from his Aberdeen side, giving an indication of the type of players he will be targeting in the summer. Both in terms of age and how they play.
"I have got a certain profile of player that I look for," he said.
"We want to play a high press. We want to be aggressive, to get close to people, we want to play a high intensity game of football. To do that, you need fit athletes.
"We have some good young players under the age of 21 and a lot of players over 30, but not a great deal in between.”
Unsurprisingly, Goodwin has been linked with a raft of players at his former club St Mirren or those who have moved on from the Buddies.
Both Joe Lewis and Gary Woods are contracted for next season, but neither have been at their best this campaign, compared to previous campaigns at Aberdeen or Hamilton Accies for the latter.
Former St Mirren ace Vaclav Hladky was the latest goalkeeper to be linked with a move to Pittodrie. The Czech stopper was brilliant in Paisley. An agile goalkeeper who is quick off his line, capable of producing the spectacular and uses his feet really well.
Jak Alnwick, signed by Goodwin for the Buddies, has been touted as a possible signing. He has excelled since replacing Hladky and proven himself to be one of the better goalkeepers in the league. Perhaps not as good as Benjamin Siegrist. No goalkeeper has prevented more goals in the last two seasons in the Premiership than Dundee United’s Swiss star. He's had a couple of mistakes this campaign but undoubtedly one of those goalkeepers with a strong presence, who can win or save games and elevates a team.
The Dons are heading for their worst defensive record since the 2010/11 season. Andy Considine, who has been the club's best defender in recent seasons, is departing. Goodwin will want reinforcements, especially defenders who are capable of playing in a back three or back four.
Declan Gallagher has shown himself to be a very capable defender. He excelled in a back three at Livingston and won international recognition. It is clear they need balance and a left-sided centre-back. Jamie McCart is an ideal candidate. The St Johnstone defender, like most team-mates hasn’t had the best of times of it, but both at Saints and Inverness CT has demonstrated that he is a very good centre-back whether in a four or as the left-sided centre-back in a back three. He is very assured on the ball, can step out of defence, hit diagonals and he reads the game well.
Another defensive option is St Mirren's Conor McCarthy. Goodwin has been linked with plenty of Buddies stars but not the Irishman who he brought to the club. An ankle injury kept him out for a large chunk of the season and then was on the bench but he is a commanding defender who is a good age and paired with a more experienced option can improve further.
There are two interesting names in the Championship who should have plenty of interest. Firstly, Hamilton Accies' Jamie Hamilton. The 20-year-old is very highly-rated and with more than 70 games to his name should be seen as a player who can be brought in, worked with and potentially sold for a significant fee down the line. He’s faced adversity both in relegation and red cards but is a ball-playing, modern-day centre-back.
Calvin Ramsay could depart in the summer with plenty of admirers. It would require a replacement at right-back. Raith Rovers’ Reghan Tumilty has been one of the club's best players. He’s got a fantastic engine, can contribute in the final third and is one of those full-backs who could be suited to the wing-back role.
The obvious player who fans of Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs will be wanting their club to sign is Regan Charles-Cook. The Scotsman understands his future is likely in England but you look at what he has done at Ross County, the way Malky Mackay has brought him on, and he would be a huge coup. Fast, direct, strong in 1v1s and can score goals from a wide position. Those players are very hard to come by.
Alternatively, and someone Hearts have an interest, is Livingston's Alan Forrest. The winger can score goals and he can create. His impact, especially in the second half of the season, has been strong. Having played below the Premiership for Ayr United for so long, he has acclimated to the top-flight and shown he belongs in the division.
Finally, one player who Aberdeen fans will be familiar with is Callum Hendry, following a loan spell last season. He is a very good striker who, with the right direction and environment, could be a talismanic forward and an excellent focal point. He can compete with defenders, work the channels, link and score. With the right coaching there is a player who has all the tools to go a lot higher in the game.
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