Dons boss Derek McInnes is confident he has finally replaced Kenny McLean and Ryan Jack – with Funso Ojo.
Belgian Ojo started both Europa League ties against Georgians FC Chikhura Sachkhere.
The £125,000 signing from Scunthorpe is set to start against HNK Rijeka in Croatia tomorrow.
McInnes reckons Ojo is a controlling midfielder the Dons have not had since Scotland internationals Jack and McLean.
The Dons gaffer also backed Craig Bryson to deliver the energy, drive and leadership that former captain Graeme Shinnie brought.
McInnes said: “Ojo and Bryson can both bring loads to the team.
“They are both going to be very important to me, for different reasons.
“Ojo gives me that controlling midfielder we have not had since Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean.”
“Someone who can really dictate the tempo of the game.
“You can see what Ojo is going to be for us and he is the type of player I have been desperate to work with.
“Bryson can give me everything on the pitch – drive, energy, goals and also leadership qualities.
“And he can give me that leadership off the pitch as well.”
Former PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ojo represents the only transfer fee outlayed by McInnes during the summer transfer window.
Aberdeen beat off competition from Premiership rivals Hibs to land the 27-year-old former Belgian Under-21 international.
Ojo was ineligible for the Europa League ties with RoPS Rovaniemi of Finland as he signed after the UEFA deadline to register players for that round.
He was pitched straight into the starting line-up for the 1-1 draw with Chikhura in Tbilisi a fortnight ago in the second round first leg.
Bryson made his Dons debut in that match in Georgia, coming off the bench after just 18 minutes for the injured Ash Taylor.
Former Derby County midfielder Bryson missed the previous two Euro ties as he had been recovering from ankle ligament damage sustained at his former club at the end of last season.
Bryson was an unused substitute in the 5-0 defeat of the Georgians at Pittodrie, but is in contention to face HNK Rijeka.
McInnes is happy with his midfield and attacking options following a busy transfer window.
Winger Ryan Hedges (Barnsley), attacker Jon Gallagher (on loan from Atlanta United), striker Curtis Main (Motherwell) and striker James Wilson (Manchester United) were all signed to beef up the attacking options.
Centre-back Taylor (Northampton) and left-back Greg Leigh (on loan from NAC Breda) were also secured.
With hamstring injuries set to keep Taylor and Mikey Devlin out of tomorrow’s first leg with Rijeka, McInnes is keen to add another defender.
Especially with Scott McKenna submitting a transfer request after the Dons knocked back bids of around £3 million from Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers.
However, the Scotland international was expected to fly out to Croatia with the Reds today, although the Dons were last night linked with a loan move for Bristol City defender Zak Vyner.
The 22-year-old came through the Ashton Gate club’s academy and spent last season on-loan at Rotherham
If he is to be eligible to feature against Rijeka he’ll need to be signed and registered with UEFA by 11pm tonight.