Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes admits in an “ideal world” he would secure Tommie Hoban on an extended deal.
Former Watford defender Hoban is signed on a short-term deal that expires in January.
McInnes has yet to have a conversation with the defender about extending that agreement but said it could happen “further down the line”.
Manager McInnes has been impressed with the 26-year-old and believes he will get even better with Aberdeen.
Defensive options have reduced for McInnes with the recent sale of Scott McKenna to Championship club Nottingham Forest for £3 million.
Hoban only returned to action last month having been sidelined for a year-and-a-half with a knee injury.
Asked if there was scope to extend Hoban’s deal, McInnes said: “There may well be, but it is not a conversation we have had.
“Tommie signed on a short-term deal a few weeks ago and I am delighted with him.
“He has been very good for me and is certainly getting better.
“In an ideal world that may well be something we look at.
“However, he is just still coming out of where he has been and getting some performances under his belt which is the best thing for him.
“Tommie enjoys it here, we enjoy Tommie, so that may well be a conversation further down the line.”
Hoban had been ruled out for 18 months following surgery on cruciate ligament damage while on loan at Aberdeen in February 2019.
Having proved his fitness during a week’s training with the Dons the defender, who was a free agent, was secured on a short-term contract.
As Hoban was returning from such a long absence, McInnes had sought to manage his game time.
If Hoban played in Europe, he was rested for the next game in the Scottish Premiership three days later on the Sunday.
That plan had to be rejigged against Motherwell with Aberdeen trailing 3-0 at half-time.
Hoban had played the entire 90 minutes less than 72 hours previously in the 2-0 Europa League defeat of Viking FK in Norway.
However, he was put on against the Steelmen at half-time to bolster a defence also lacking McKenna, who had travelled to England for talks with Nottingham Forest.
Hoban further underlined his fitness by starting in the 3-0 defeat of Ross County less than 72 hours after playing all 90 minutes of the Europa League loss to Sporting in Portugal.
McInnes said: “We missed Tommie and Scott McKenna the other week against Motherwell as two changes in a back three isn’t ideal.
“We spoke to Tommie on Friday and he felt good.
“We wanted to make that assessment again on the Saturday after training and we never named the team until we saw how he was feeling.
“Tommie was confident enough to play another game so quickly after Sporting Lisbon.
“He felt good to go. He was even reluctant to come off as a substitute and that’s a good sign.
“Having Tommie in there certainly helped matters.”
During Hoban’s time on the pitch, the Dons have leaked just one goal in six starts and two substitute appearances – to Sporting.
McInnes said: “There is an assurance about Tommie.
“He can play anywhere in the back three, at full-back, is a good user of the ball, good in the air and is quick.
“Tommie is a very calming influence.
“He makes the ones around him that bit calmer and play a bit better as well, which is always an indication of a good player. He’s not just managing his own game, he is making others around him better with his voice and decision making.”