Scott Wright’s decision to keep his options open was the surprising news to come out of Pittodrie last week.
But the growing interest from Rangers, as well as clubs in England, should come as no shock. Anyone watching his consistent performances for Aberdeen this season can attest to his increased influence on the team.
The 23 year-old will be a free agent in the summer and a check through his contribution to the Aberdeen cause this season makes it clear why the list of potential suitors is growing.
But, before we look at the player who has blossomed this season, it is important to have a brief history lesson.
For years Wright has found himself in and out of the Aberdeen team. There is no disgrace in that, especially when you consider the competition for places from the likes of Jonny Hayes, Niall McGinn, Gary Mackay Steven, Connor McLennan and Matty Kennedy in the last five years.
It was that competition, and Wright’s struggle to command a regular place in the side which led to him having a loan spell at Dundee in January 2019. Wright did well, but was unable to keep the Dark Blues in the Premiership and following their relegation he returned to Pittodrie.
Following his return, Wright was earmarked for a new role in Derek McInnes’ side with the Aberdeen manager looking for him to play a more central role behind the main striker – a similar remit to that which brought the best out of former Don Peter Pawlett in his time at Pittodrie.
It had been trialled in the 2018-19 season prior to Wright’s loan spell at Dens Park, but last season was supposed to be where the new-look Wright was supposed to make his mark.
A new, energised Wright set out looking to make his mark for the 2019-20 season, but, following a bright start, his campaign was brought to a premature end long before Covid had become a thing as a serious knee injury suffered in training ended his season by September.
It was a case of back to the drawing board for the talented attacker, but the Wright who started this term has been a man on a mission.
In the Premiership, he has played 13 matches, scored two goals – against Livingston and Hibs – and created one other and it is no coincidence his side’s struggle, in November especially, came while he was out of the team due to a double hernia.
In terms of goals, it is clear there remains room for improvement, but what is certain is Wright’s influence on the Dons team.
Scott Wright finishes against Livingston after brilliant passing move with team-mate Ryan Hedges:
He may have provided just one assist, but he has created 16 chances for team-mates so far in the 869 minutes of league football he has played.
Those 16 chances created for team-mates puts him joint third on the list for the season at Pittodrie. Ryan Hedges leads the way with an impressive 36 chances created, while Jonny Hayes has manufactured 26 scoring chances so far in the campaign.
But, on a chances created per 90 minutes, Wright is second on 1.7 only to Hedges, who has averaged two chances per game for his side.
Clearly the Wright-Hedges partnership has been one of the major successes of the Dons this season. Good friends off the pitch, they seem to bring the best out of the other while paired on a pitch.
Nothing is signed yet, but what a shame it will be if the Dons’ dynamic duo go their separate ways either this month or in the summer.