Manager Derek McInnes wants youngster Scott Wright to seize his chance to become a first team regular after he agreed a contract extension with the Dons.
Earlier this week Wright put pen to paper on a new deal that will keep him at Pittodrie until 2021.
The youngster had signed a deal until 2019 in January when Aberdeen were in Dubai for a warm weather training camp during the Premiership’s winter break, and now the Reds have moved to extend his contract.
Big things are expected of Wright who has been around the Dons first team for a number of years.
The 20-year-old made his debut back in July 2014 coming off the bench at Pittodrie during the 5-0 Europa League first qualifying round first leg demolition of Latvians Daugava Riga.
In total, Wright has made 20 appearances in a red shirt.
He has also notched four goals, all of which have come against Partick Thistle at Firhill.
He netted a hat-trick in a 6-0 win against the Maryhill Jags in the last league game of last season and also scored with a stunning strike this term in a 4-3 win in August.
Boss McInnes is thrilled to have signed up the winger until 2021 and believes he now has the opportunity to establish himself as an Aberdeen first team regular.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted, he’s a young player who we feel is going to get better and better.
“He’s managed to get some more involvement over the last wee while and we feel he is going to be a key player going forward.
“We feel once he gets more and more game time and more and more experiences then he will become a more rounded player.
“Any young player needs to get through those experiences.
“But he has certainly got a talent that we feel gives him a chance to be a good player for us over the next few years.
“He’s also got a good work ethic and attitude towards his profession – that will stand him in good stead.
“Hopefully, we see that development over the next few years that he has committed to.
“So we’re delighted Scott feels being with us is the right place for him.
“He’s a boy that we all really enjoy working with and it’s clear that he’s got qualities – it’s just about trying to bring those performances out on a regular basis.”
McInnes also reckons Wright will feel closer to the first team this term following the departures of established wingers Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes during the summer transfer window and he hopes that will also give Wright a confidence boost.
He added: “I said at the start of the season he probably feels closer on the back of his own development and experiences at the back end of last season.
“Now that Jonny and Niall have left Aberdeen he probably feels closer to the first team now than he has ever done.
“He hopefully takes confidence from the fact that we want him to be here and we see him as a key player for us.
“I’m sure that will only help him and it is the opportunity for him to go and cement regular football.
“It’s not easy for any youngster to come in and become a regular at our club when we are up there challenging.
“But it is certainly something he is capable of.”
Wright is a product of Aberdeen’s youth academy and McInnes thinks it is important that the club brings through youngsters from the academy into the first team.
He also hopes that seeing Wright’s progression and him being handed a contract extension will encourage youth players in the academy that they can also reach the first team.
McInnes said: “The heartbeat of any good club side should always be hopefully made up by a lot of local boys.
“We’ve seen that over the years with many different teams.
“Ideally the scenario is that we get as many as we can through from the academy.
“I think it is a good boost for all the academy players and coaches who are working currently and who have worked with Scott in the past.”
McInnes is also pleased to have been able to give Wright the assurances of a new contract.
And knowing the player well the Pittodrie boss said there is no chance of Wright resting on his laurels.
Instead McInnes believes he will now work even harder to show what he can do. He said: “I think the most important person you want to give assurances to is Scott, really.
“He can just know he doesn’t need to be overly concerned.
“And you also get to know the player and you know that because he is sitting on a three-and-half-year deal I know he won’t kick back and relax.
“Certain youngsters you wouldn’t do that with – Scott isn’t one of them – we have no fears.
“He is only going to want to work harder to be the best player he can be – and that’s what you want to work with.”