Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is not surprised former Don Joe Shaughnessy has gone on to be a key player for St Johnstone and the Perth side’s captain.
McInnes is keen to bring Shaughnessy back to Pittodrie for a second spell this summer.
The 26-year-old centre-back left Aberdeen in summer 2015, in the hunt for regular football despite the fact there was a new contract on offer from Aberdeen.
The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has racked up more than 150 starts for St Johnstone and will today lead out the Saints against Aberdeen at McDiarmid Park.
His contract expires at the end of the season.
Aberdeen have held talks with Shaughnessy and his agent and also notified St Johnstone that they had made an offer to the defender for next season.
St Johnstone have also offered a new contract in a bid to retain Shaughnessy.
McInnes said: “Joe has done very well and the fact he is now the St Johnstone captain shows his qualities.
“He was a brilliant player to work with when he was here. Joe has matured into their captain which is no surprise.”
Aberdeen will today look to extend their winning run away from home to seven matches.
In contrast, the Reds – five points behind second-placed Rangers – have secured just two points from the last possible 12 at Pittodrie.
St Johnstone ended a slump in form last weekend when holding Rangers 0-0 at Ibrox.
They had lost five straight games prior to that, although three of those were to Premiership leaders Celtic.
McInnes said: “Our away form has been good and we maybe enjoy the spaces we get a bit more on the road.
“I watched St Johnstone’s game against Rangers last week and they stopped the bleeding from the games against Celtic.
“That can be tough when you play Celtic consecutively and they took a couple of sore ones.
“St Johnstone are the type of team who can go on unbeaten runs even if they have lost a few.
“They managed to stop the rot with a draw and a clean sheet against Rangers.
“It will be tough but we have to make sure it is tough for them.”
Aberdeen have a depleted defence for the trip to Perth with centre-back Scott McKenna serving the final game of a three-match suspension.
On-loan Watford centre-back Tommie Hoban is out for the season having sustained a cruciate ligament injury that will require surgery. Centre-back Mark Reynolds is on loan at Dundee United for the season.
Right-back Shaleum Logan is sidelined for today and may require future surgery on an ankle problem.
McInnes said: “We will need to make a decision that is best for Shaleum.”