Dons boss McInnes feels his defence is strong enough with arrival of Arnason

Pittodrie boss Derek McInnes is confident he has a strong defence that can anchor the Dons’ bid for success.

Icelandic international Kari Arnason signed a one-year contract 24 hours after the Reds’ 1-1 Europa League draw with NK Siroki Brijeg.

The 34-year-old is ineligible for the return leg in Bosnia on Thursday. However, should the Dons progress to the third qualifying round Arnason will be available to face Apollon Limassol of Cyprus or Zaria Balti of Moldova.

McInnes said: “We were short of numbers with defenders so I wanted to get another one in.

“We have been working hard to get the right level of signings in.

“I am confident we have the experience and quality defensively.

“Anthony O’Connor was probably a little disappointed not to play more at centre-back as he gave us a really good contribution in his first season.

“We also have Mark Reynolds, and Shaleum Logan and Andy Considine have been my full-backs for the last few years now.

“With the defenders we have we will hopefully see strong performances over the course of the season.”

Arnason, capped 60 times, agreed an early release from Cyprus side AC Omonia to pave the way for a return to Pittodrie.

He hopes for a potential quick-fire return to Cyprus in the Europa League. Should the Dons progress past Bosnians Siroki Brijeg they will likely face Apollon Limassol. The Cypriots hold a 3-0 advantage over Zaria Balti from the first leg.

Arnason said: “Hopefully we can get a result (in Bosnia) to keep going in Europe.

“I have done about two or three weeks training, mostly running, and although I need a little bit of sharpness it shouldn’t take long.”

Although Arnason operated as a midfielder in his season at Pittodrie in 2011-12 he will now be utilised as a centre-back, where he plays for Iceland.

“When I made the move to Sweden (to Malmo) they didn’t need midfielders and brought me in solely as centre-back and that was where I played.

“Now I am mostly centre-back. I played alongside Mark Reynolds and Andy Considine when I was at Aberdeen before so it is good to have familiar faces.”

Arnason was the sixth signing to arrive during a summer of rebuilding.

Boss McInnes is also keen to secure Motherwell striker Louis Moult and has had bids of £250,000 and £400,000 rejected.

The Steelmen have offered Moult, who has a year left on his contract, a new deal. It is understood ‘Well would look for at least £500,000 to even consider any potential transfer. Moult scored in the 5-1 Betfred Cup win at Queens Park at the weekend.

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson said: “If he decides to sign it (‘Well contract offer) by Christmas time we’ll bite his hand off and go: ‘That’s brilliant’.

“Make no mistake, Louis wants to be at the football club until he’s told different. If somebody comes in with an acceptable offer we’ll make that decision. And until then he remains our player.”

 

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