Pittodrie great Willie Garner believes signing two Premiership captains will help Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass land top transfer targets in the summer.
Glass beat competition from Championship Cardiff City to land Motherwell skipper Declan Gallagher, 30, who has agreed a pre-contract.
Scotland international Gallagher, who is expected to star in the Euro 2020 finals, will join Glass’ Reds revolution on a two-year deal in the summer.
Celtic captain Scott Brown had already committed to the Dons and will arrive at Pittodrie in the summer on a two-year contract in a player-coaching role.
Brown, 35, rejected the offer of a one-year contract extension to end a 14-year career at Celtic in favour of moving to Aberdeen under ex-Hibs team-mate Glass.
Garner insists securing two captains and leaders is a statement of intent by Glass and the Dons which will underline the ambition of the club to other signing targets.
He said: “Stephen Glass has signed two leaders and the captains of other clubs with Gallagher and Brown.
“Both have real character and a strong reputation in the game.
“When Glass is talking to other players and says Gallagher and Brown have already signed, who are big names in the Scottish game, that can only help.
“To get captains from two other Premiership clubs to come and play for Aberdeen is fantastic.
“They are both commanding, talkers and the type of players Aberdeen need.
“Gallagher and Brown have been great signings.”
🏴 Scotland International Declan Gallagher signs pre-contract agreement with The Dons.
🔴 The 30-year-old central defender will join the Club this summer on a two-year deal.#StandFree
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) May 6, 2021
Glass and assistant Allan Russell have moved quickly and decisively by securing two key signings before the current Premiership campaign has even finished.
Their capture is the first act of a summer rebuild where Glass will construct a team which is capable of delivering his style of football.
On confirmation of Gallagher agreeing a pre-contract with Aberdeen, Glass hailed the Motherwell skipper as “one of the country’s top centre backs”.
Former defender Garner, who won the League title in 1980 and the 1976 League Cup with Aberdeen, agrees.
He said: “Gallagher is a proper centre-half in that he has a lot of ability and aggression.
“He is a Scotland international who is strong in the air in both boxes and good on the ball.
“A commanding presence in a back four, he is big and strong.
“With the way Gallagher is very aggressive in attacking the ball, he will also get his fair share of goals.
“Glass wants his team playing out from the back at the right times.
“He will have seen that Gallagher can do that as well as winning the ball.
“With Gallagher and Brown secured Aberdeen have two internationals who will be good on and off the park and will help the young players develop.”
Gallagher’s contract with Motherwell expires at the end of the season and he will move to Pittodrie having made 68 starts for the Steelmen since signing from Livingston in summer 2019.
Garner is a long term admirer of Gallagher and reckons the Dons should have moved to sign the centre-back ahead of Motherwell two years ago.
He said: “I watched him a few times when he was at Livingston and thought he was decent.
“At that time I wondered why Aberdeen were not going for a player like Gallagher.
“Then he went to Motherwell and I thought he would have been a good signing for Aberdeen then.
“I felt the Dons had missed the boat on that.
“Gallagher has gone from Livingston to Motherwell and, I am not being disrespectful to these clubs, but moving to Aberdeen is another step up for him in his career.”
Capped seven times, Gallagher played a pivotal role in Scotland’s historic penalty shoot-out defeat of Serbia last November in the Euro 2020 play-off final to secure qualification to this summer’s finals.
He is expected to be named in Scotland manager Steve Clarke’s 26-man Euro 2020 squad.
Clarke can also name an extra three players in his squad as Uefa this week expanded squad numbers from 23 players to 26 for the finals.
Garner said: “Steve Clarke has been pretty loyal to his players and the number has also been increased on the number of players in a squad.
“I would expect Gallagher to be in the squad and hopefully Andy Considine can go as well.
“If they are at the Euros, they will return buoyant, but will need a wee rest as well.
“The way the sports science is now that will be taken care of and planned in terms of what pre-season they will do.”
⚽️ Could Dylan McGeouch keep the incoming Scott Brown out of the @AberdeenFC team?
🔴 Is Connor McLennan's future at right-back?
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) May 4, 2021