Boss Derek McInnes confirmed Aberdeen are in control of whether they can sign on-loan Greg Leigh permanently next summer.
Leigh was secured on a season- long deal from Dutch side NAC Breda following their relegation from the Eredivisie to the second tier.
The 25-year-old has impressed in his favoured role of left-back and in a more advanced midfield position.
Although Leigh arrived at Pittodrie on loan, Aberdeen ensured there was an option to buy written into the agreement.
Former Manchester City trainee Leigh has started 17 games this season and netted twice.
McInnes said: “Greg is a loan with a view to buy so we are in charge of that.
“Having control of the situation was something that was important to us.
“Although it is technically a loan, that was the way the deal had to be structured at the time and it suited us both.
“We made sure we had the option to take him.”
Last season Aberdeen had Derby County left-back Max Lowe on loan.
Then-Derby boss Frank Lampard, now at Chelsea, opted to recall Lowe during the January transfer window due to a combination of a left-back injury crisis and Lowe’s impressive form.
Lowe subsequently started two games for his parent club.
Aberdeen made inquires about securing Leigh in January when it appeared Lowe would be remaining at Derby.
However, late in the winter window Lowe made a shock return to Aberdeen for the second half of the season after Lampard brought in veteran Ashley Cole as left-back cover.
Lowe went on to scoop the Players’ Player of the Year at the Dons annual awards ceremony.
McInnes was keen to secure Lowe this season but moved to sign Leigh when it looked like any decision on the potential availability of Derby’s left-back could drag over the summer.
Leigh, who is contracted to NAC Breda until summer 2021, was secured early in pre-season, in plenty of time for the Europa League kick-off.
Replacing Lowe at left-back was big boots to fill but former England Under-19 international Leigh quickly achieved that.
Leigh was also utilised in midfield in recent games against Motherwell (3-0 win) and Celtic (4-0 loss) before returning to left-back at Hamilton (1-0 win).
McInnes said: “We are really enjoying working with Greg.
“He was back to his familiar left-back role recently and was excellent.
“Greg has been driving forward from there. He is a great boy to have about. “
Leigh is set to retain his starting role at left-back in Saturday’s Premiership trip to Ross County.
Aberdeen are set to welcome back Craig Bryson from an ankle injury that ruled him out of the 3-0 defeat of Kilmarnock.
Centre-back Ash Taylor is also in contention to travel to Dingwall having recovered from a hamstring tear that ruled out the summer signing for 13 weeks.
McInnes wants a third straight win to continue the revival after the 4-0 loss to Celtic.
He said: “We go into the Ross County game on the back of getting a bit more confidence and good performances.
“If we can go into the next international break with nine points from the last nine it will give us some sense of encouragement and satisfaction after the Celtic game.
“There is still a lot to do as it won’t be easy at Ross County.
“We had a convincing win at Pittodrie (3-0, August) but it is normally more difficult on the road.”