Former Aberdeen midfielder Steve Tosh admits he knew little about new signing Funso Ojo when the Belgian was secured from Scunthorpe United.
Tosh reckons most supporters will also be in the dark about the midfielder who plied his trade in the Dutch and Belgian top flights before two seasons in England’s League One with Scunthorpe.
However, Tosh reckons the Red Army should embrace Ojo as the £125,000 signing will not be a step into the unknown for Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes.
The Reds beat rivals Hibs to the capture of the former Belgium Under-21 international after both clubs had bids of £125,000 accepted by Scunthorpe.
Ojo had talks with both teams and their managers last week and opted to move to Pittodrie after a day in the Granite City listening to McInnes’ pitch.
Tosh hopes landing a former PSV Eindhoven star and Belgian U21 cap on a three-year deal can prove to be a coup for the Reds.
Tosh, 46, said: “Let’s be honest, most people will not know that much about Funso Ojo.
“Anyone who says they know what he is about – well, I think they are probably telling porkies.
“However, Derek McInnes has a team in place to go and scout for certain types of players, at certain ages within certain clubs and budgets.
“If Derek and his team believe Ojo is a good player then we have to believe in him and trust him.
“He is not doing it on a whim.
“Derek is not going to spend £125,000 of Aberdeen’s money on a ‘maybe’. They will not have scouted Ojo once, they will have scouted him four or five times.
“I know Derek has a plethora of people in England who are looking at players constantly. Hopefully Ojo will end up being a very good player for Aberdeen.”
Only 18 months ago Championship Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Queen’s Park Rangers were linked with potential moves for Ojo. With English second-tier clubs circling, Scunthorpe valued him at £900,000.
He was rated as the best deep-lying midfielder in League One and was targeted for his vision, intelligent passing and composure in possession.
Ojo was Aberdeen’s eighth signing of a busy summer transfer window by boss McInnes.
Tosh, who played for the Dons from 2003-05, said: “The signings this summer have been strong and it is testament to Derek and Tony (Docherty, assistant manager) that they are striving every year to be as good as they possibly can.
“Derek lost some players at the end of last season and has brought in a good pedigree.
“Hopefully they can fit in well and become an asset to the club.”
While McInnes has been active in the transfer window Tosh insists retaining key players has been equally important.
Towards the end of last season keeper Joe Lewis, recently named club captain, signed a five-year contract extension.
Aberdeen have also rejected offers for defender Scott McKenna in recent windows, with a £6.5 million bid from Aston Villa knocked back last summer.
There still remains six weeks of the transfer window, however, and clubs could come in for Scotland international McKenna, who the Dons value at £10m.
“It is great to get new signings but also important to tie down players to new deals,” he said.
“You have to do that when looking towards the future.
“You look at certain players like Scott McKenna.
“Not losing him is a big thing, although there is still a bit of the transfer window to go.
“Boys like Scott Wright have come back and others are also a year older so you are looking for them to step up.
“I am sure Derek will be excited about the season ahead.”
Ojo is ineligible for tomorrow’s Europa League tie against RoPS in Finland as he signed after the UEFA deadline to register players for the first qualifying round.
He will be available to play in the next round, should Aberdeen see off RoPS in Lapland. The Dons hold a 2-1 advantage.
Tosh, a committee member of the Aberdeen FC Former Players’ Association, said: “I hope Aberdeen can get to the group stages of the Europa League.
“I have been lucky enough to have seen some of Aberdeen’s ties in recent years against teams like Real Sociedad.
“That is what Aberdeen need, games against teams like that.
“The first thing, though, is to get through to the next round by seeing off the Finns and then take it from there.”