Craig Bryson can be the perfect replacement for Graeme Shinnie, according to former team-mate and Aberdonian Paul Coutts.
The Dons signed Bryson on a pre-contract agreement and he will pen a two-year deal when his contract with Derby County expires.
The 32-year-old midfielder is leaving the Rams after eight years following his move from Kilmarnock in 2011.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes had been looking for a replacement for captain Shinnie in midfield after the skipper left this summer for Derby.
Coutts, who started his career in the Pittodrie youth set-up, played with Bryson at Pride Park from the summer of 2012 until January 2015.
The 30-year-old reckons Bryson has the attributes to ensure Shinnie’s loss isn’t too keenly felt next term.
Coutts said: “It is a good signing for Aberdeen – time will tell, but I think it will be a good signing. Having watched how the Dons have played over the last few seasons I’ve seen how much of an impact Graeme Shinnie had on the team.
“So I think Aberdeen need a replacement for that and the main thing I can say about Craig is that he will provide similar energy to Shinnie in midfield.
“Aberdeen probably needed that and Craig was the fittest guy I have come across in football.
“His running stats and performances in pre-season testing were great, he’s fit as a fiddle.
“In terms of the energy he will bring to the team, Craig will be a good signing.
“Craig would probably say himself that he is maybe not the most gifted technical player.
“His game is all about energy and driving forward and making things happen, which Shinnie also did for Aberdeen.
“Craig arrives in the box at good times and he scores goals because he times his runs well.
“He will offer Aberdeen a goal threat from midfield and will get up and down the park.
“I’m sure the fans will appreciate the energy and effort he puts in.”
Bryson made nearly 300 appearances in his time with Derby and could have stayed with the Rams.
Gaffer Frank Lampard offered him a new contract.
But the Scotland international chose to seek out a new challenge.
Coutts, who started his senior career at Cove Rangers before moves to Peterborough, Preston, Derby and Sheffield United, believes the prospect of European football, as well as the potential to win trophies, will have attracted Bryson to Pittodrie.
The former Clyde player is likely to make his Dons debut in the Europa League qualifiers if he shakes off an ankle injury.
The Reds face Finnish outfit RoPS Rovaniemi in the first qualifying round on July 11 and 18 and if they progress will tackle either CS Fola Esch of Luxembourg or Georgia’s Chikhura Sachkhere in the second qualifying round on July 25 and August 1.
Coutts added: “I know Craig was offered another contract at Derby and I’d imagine financially that would have been a better option for him.
“But he obviously sees Aberdeen as a new challenge and somewhere he can go and win trophies and finish high in the league – and do well in Europe. He’s not come for the money because if it’s money he was after he could have stayed down south.
“He’s joined Aberdeen because he will have ambitions to win things like the Scottish Cup – that will be a big thing for Craig.”