Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes feared star striker Sam Cosgrove would be ruled out for the entire season with a cruciate ligment injury.
McInnes feared the worst when Cosgrove suffered a knee injury when catching his studs in the pitch during the recent 1-1 friendly draw with Hibs.
Just days after the 23-year-old rejected a £2.7m move to French side Guingamp, McInnes was braced for devastating news when Cosgrove was sent for a scan.
Following imaging it was confirmed Cosgrove had suffered a fractured cartilage and would be sidelined for eight to 10 weeks.
Although a huge setback to lose a striker who netted 23 goals last season, McInnes was relieved Cosgrove would not miss the entire campaign. On the day Cosgrove suffered the injury McInnes began an immediate search for an emergency short-term replacement signing as striker Curtis Main is also out with a thigh strain.
Leeds United’s Under-19 England international Ryan Edmondson was secured on a short-term loan deal until January.
McInnes revealed the 19-year-old, who made his debut off the bench in the 1-0 loss to Rangers, is so highly rated at Elland Road boss Marcelo Bielsa is set to tie him down on a new long-term deal.
McInnes said: “We actually feared the worst as we thought Sam had done his cruciate and was going to be out for the season.
“When we got the news it wasn’t going to be that I was delighted.
“It sounds a bit foolish to say we were delighted our top goal scorer is going to be out for two to three months.”
With Bruce Anderson the only fit senior striker available, McInnes faced a race against the clock to secure another centre-forward before the Premiership kick-off against Rangers.
English League One and Two were effectively ruled out as both have been inactive following the decision to call both divisions when football was shut down in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The English Premier League and Championship were resurrected and played to a finish.
McInnes revealed Edmondson was on a list of potential replacements for Cosgrove when Aberdeen accepted the bid from French second-tier Guingamp which also included future add-ons.
However, Cosgrove, who is contracted to the Dons until summer 2022, rejected the move.
McInnes said: “Ryan is someone, who, when there was a possibility of Cosgrove going to France, was one of a number of players we looked at as a potential replacement.
“We had been working since that Saturday (of the Hibs game where Cosgrove suffered the injury) to try and get a player in.
“We wanted someone who had been training and also in and about somebody’s first team.
“Obviously half of the English clubs haven’t played since March and half of them have just knocked off.
“To get somebody at a club who is willing to give up their youngsters after a prolonged season is a bit difficult.
“We are delighted to get Ryan.”
Edmondson has yet to start a senior game, but the 19-year-old has been prolific for the Leeds U23 squad.
In the 2018-19 season he hit 20 league goals to help Leeds U23s win the PDL-National title.
He also made a scoring debut for England U19s, netting in a defeat of Greece.
McInnes admits Edmondson is “raw” but emphasised it was a similar scenario with Cosgrove when he arrived at Pittodrie.
When signing from Carlisle United from £20,000 in January 2018, Cosgrove was an unknown who had netted just one senior goal in his career.
It would take Cosgrove until October of that year to net his first Aberdeen goal – in his 17th appearance. He has hit 20 goals plus in the last two seasons.
McInnes said: “Obviously Ryan is a bit behind, although probably further ahead of where Sam was when he first came in.
“But Ryan does score goals at his own level.
“He is highly thought of at Leeds and will be signing a new contract there in the next few weeks.
“Ryan is young, he is raw at times, but he has potential and gives us something different.”