Six weeks out injured and two multi-million bids for him rejected yet wanted man Scott McKenna remained unfazed throughout.
Scotland international centre-back McKenna returned from an extended absence due to a hamstring tear in the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone at the weekend.
It was the 21-year-old’s first period out of the Reds first team since making his breakthrough in September of last year.
During McKenna’s rehabilitation the Reds knocked back two bids for the centre-back.
First the Pittodrie board kicked a £3.5 million move from Celtic into touch before Championship Aston Villa doubled that figure on transfer deadline day.
Villa’s £7m bid to secure one of the hottest stars in Scottish football was rejected because it failed to meet the Dons’ valuation of McKenna.
Even if they had matched the valuation the lateness of the bid ensured it would still have been snubbed as there was not enough time to source a replacement.
Still in his first full year as a Dons first-team regular McKenna had to deal with a perfect storm of the disappointment of the injury, hard rehabilitation, the heightened transfer interest and his value rocketing.
McInnes insists he remained entirely focused on getting back to the first team which he believes is stronger with the Scotland cap at the heart of the defence.
McInnes said: “Credit to Scott as he handled his injury and rehabilitation brilliantly as you would expect.
“Scott has not had too many injuries or issues to contend with but he has had to deal with this one recently.
“Now he is back where he should be and we are always a better team with him in it.
“Scott is not fazed by anything.
“He is very focused and grounded in his job and always looking for those improvements which is great for us as a staff to keep working with him on that side of it.
“He is a breath of fresh air.”
McKenna will start against Motherwell at Pittodrie on Saturday with fellow centre-back Mikey Devlin set to return from a one-game suspension.
It was against the Steelmen almost a year to the day last year when McKenna made his first-team breakthrough.
Boss McInnes started him on September 24 in an attempt to bring defensive steel following a 3-0 League Cup defeat.
Just days later the dons won that league rematch 1-0. McKenna’s ascent has been rapid as the defender has started every game he has been fit for.
Aston Villa and Celtic’s rejected bids were the latest in a number of moves for the centre-back.
Hull City had three bids, with the final in excess of £1m, knocked back in January and Swansea City also made an approach for McKenna during the summer.
McInnes said: “Scott deals with everything in his stride.
“We are not dealing with someone who is a standard footballer.
“He is something a bit special.
“All he thought about was getting himself ready for the St Johnstone game.
“They don’t make them like Scott too often these days.
“He is a brilliant boy.
“With all the experience I have in the game I can say to Scott with so much confidence that his time will come. Scott backs himself and trusts me.”
McInnes recently claimed that McKenna, contracted to the Dons until 2023, will eventually leave Pittodrie on a “big ticket” move to the English Premier League.
That could be as early as January if a club come in with a bid that meets the Reds’ valuation, early enough to find a replacement in that window.
McKenna’s return from injury was a welcome boost at a time when eight players were ruled out for the trip to St Johnstone by injury or suspension.
McInnes said: “Scott’s level of performance has been outstanding since he got into the team.
“Defensively we have not been too bad and it has not been our biggest area of concern.
“However, Scott’s return gives everyone a boost.”