New signing Jonny Hayes is keen to play down the sacrifice of deferring wages for a year to secure his Aberdeen return.
The winger made the unusual gesture because the Dons are in no position to sign players at the moment due to projected £10m losses in the Covid-19 crisis.
Although a game changer who can light up a match the 32-year-old wants to remain away from the limelight in relation to the wage sacrifice.
Instead Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists Hayes is completely focused on making an immediate impact in his second spell at the club.
McInnes said: “Jonny is a magnificent signing and a huge shot in the arm for everyone, including myself, that we managed to get him here.
“I am grateful for the gesture he made to allow it to happen.
“That shouldn’t be underplayed as it couldn’t have been done without Jonny’s gesture.
“Jonny does not want to make a huge deal of that.
“He just wants to concentrate with the job in hand and has been training brilliantly.
“It is great to have Jonny back.”
Aberdeen do not have the budget to make new signings due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and are currently in talks with players and management regarding wage cuts to help lessen the financial impact of the outbreak.
Hayes was a free agent having left Premiership champions Celtic this summer after three successful years at Parkhead.
Newly promoted Dundee United were tracking the winger whilst Championship sides Stoke City and Preston also had Hayes on their radar.
Hayes made more than 200 appearances for the Dons before leaving for Celtic in a £1.3million move after the 2016-17 season.
Aberdeen lacked a spark of creativity to break down defences last season and suffered a five game league scoring drought between January and February.
McInnes believes Hayes is a game changer who can bring that spark.
In his final season at Pittodrie Hayes netted 11 times and was pivotal to a side that scored three or more goals 14 times in all competitions.
That 2016-17 squad also scored four or more in seven games, including a 7-0 win (Dundee), 7-2 (Motherwell). 6-0 (Partick Thistle) and 5-1 (Kilmarnock) on league action.
Before leaving Pittodrie the presence of Hayes in an Aberdeen team meant goals.
McInnes is confident that will continue now he is back.
He said: “Jonny is a game changer.
“The speed we all know he possesses is still there.
“Regardless of where we play him Jonny can be the difference in any game.”
Last summer McInnes underwent the biggest rebuild of his time at Pittodrie when reconstructing his squad.
McInnes believes some new signings can struggle to immediately grasp the culture and expectations that come with playing for Aberdeen.
That will be no problem for Hayes who spent five years at the club from 2012-17 and won every domestic honour with Celtic and played in the Champions League.
McInnes said: “Jonny gets the culture of the club and understands the demands.
“That’s important because not all new signings get that right away.
“Jonny loved his time here prior to moving.
“It was a blow when he left, there is no doubt about that.
“That was the end of an era for that team and Jonny was a huge part of that.”
Hayes is the second winger McInnes has signed this year having landed Matty Kennedy from St Johnstone during the January transfer window.
However Hayes could be the only new addition this summer unless a player is sold on, although McInnes and chairman Dave Cormack have both emphasized there will be no fire-sale of talent regardless of the £10m losses.
McInnes is confident the Republic of Ireland international will be a positive influence at the club both on and off the pitch.
He said: “It is important demands and Jonny will be a huge part of that.
“He joins a group of senior players who can hopefully lead by example and set an example in training very day.”