Transfer speculation throughout the summer has not affected Lewis Ferguson as he has continued to give his all for Aberdeen.
The midfielder’s reaction to questions about his future should be applauded.
Ferguson slapped in a transfer request earlier this summer after an approach by Premier League Watford was rejected.
However, that request and the ongoing speculation has not hindered Ferguson’s game in the slightest.
Ferguson likes the physical part of the game and he has certainly not backed off from that.
He has also started the season for Aberdeen with high levels of performance and three goals in the Europa Conference League.
Aberdeen have enjoyed a successful transfer window and have strengthened, but there remains the huge question as to whether Ferguson will still be at Pittodrie when it closes.
Speculation around his future continues and clubs are interested in the Scotland under-21 international.
Every player has a right to decide where they want to be and hopefully Ferguson changes his mind and stays at Aberdeen.
He comes from a footballing family and will be getting good advice on how to deal with this situation.
The ideal way to deal with questions about your future is to ensure it doesn’t affect your performances on the pitch and that is exactly what Ferguson has done.
However, you can perhaps not say the same about Alfredo Morelos at Rangers and Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard, who have both also been linked with moves away from their clubs this summer.
Players handle speculation about their future differently and it has maybe affected Morelos and Edouard negatively.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) July 22, 2021
Ferguson missed the 2-1 defeat of Livingston at the weekend due to injury, but manager Stephen Glass is confident he will be back to face Breidablik in the Conference League third qualifying round second leg at Pittodrie on Thursday.
Manager Glass had been extremely consistent with his selection prior to the trip to Livingston where Ferguson was one of six changes to the starting XI.
It was a surprise that he made so many changes at Livingston, but these players have performed in quick-fire games one after the other.
The cost of consistency of selection can sometimes be niggling injuries or lack of freshness when games pile up.
Aberdeen have a huge make-or-break European tie against the Icelandic side on Thursday and Glass needs his team to be at full strength.
In the league campaign, points can be made up as you go along, but in Europe it is all or nothing – you are either in or out.
Making so many changes to a starting line-up can either work for or against you.
In Aberdeen’s case, with a bit of good fortune due to the keeper fumbling Jack Mackenzie’s shot deep into injury time for the winner, it paid off.
To be able to take three points at Livingston after making so many changes is really pleasing and it continues the positive momentum at the start of the season.
Aberdeen were behind at half-time, but reacted in the correct manner to ensure they are one of only three teams to win both opening Premiership games alongside Hibs and Hearts.
The Dons have got off to a good start domestically and are also within touching distance of the play-off round of the Europa Conference League, but I still think manager Glass will look to add to the squad before the transfer window closes.
There remains the question mark over Ferguson and it is still unknown if Aberdeen will lose him or not.
If he does exit Pittodrie, signing a midfielder as replacement will be needed.
Even if Ferguson, as I hope, stays at Aberdeen, another couple of signings before the window closes would not go amiss.
The work that has already been done in the transfer window has been very productive and United States international Christian Ramirez has done great, but I still think another striker is required.
Obviously young players have to be given an opportunity and that is part of what the manager wants to see with Calvin Ramsay and Jack Mackenzie impressing already this season in the full-back roles.
There is also Jack Gurr and Jonny Hayes who can play at full-back, but defensive cover in that area is perhaps needed.
Don’t underestimate threat of Breidablik
When Aberdeen were 2-0 up early on against Breidablik away, I admit I thought it was going to be a romp.
When the second goal went in after only 11 minutes, I was wondering how the Icelanders had managed to defeat an established club like Austria Vienna in the previous round.
However, that quickly became clear when Breidablik hit back in the 16th minute with a goal and then levelled to go into the break all square at 2-2.
Breidablik can play and move the ball about efficiently and effectively.
They look a far better team than BK Hacken, who Aberdeen knocked out in the previous round.
BK Hacken were more about energy and competitiveness.
Breidablik fought back after the loss of two early goals and it took changes by manager Stephen Glass at half-time to fix issues that were causing problems.
It would have been easy to react negatively to the way the Icelanders had clawed their way back to be level at the break.
Aberdeen must have been a bit shell-shocked when they went in at half-time and a major question was posed as to how they would handle the situation.
The Reds responded in the right manner and displayed strong mental strength to come through that to get a vital win.
The manager also displayed good coaching and tactical strength by making the necessary changes to turn it around.
Lokastaða 2-3 fyrir Aberdeen
Frábær frammistaða hjá okkar mönnum í kvöld! Mætum tvíefldir til Skotlands💚💚💚
— Breiðablik FC (@BreidablikFC) August 5, 2021
Although it was a good away win, the tie is still very much alive.
The Dons have a great opportunity to make the group stages in the Conference League as, should they progress, they will face either either Cypriot side AEL Limassol or Azerbaijan’s Qarabag in the play-off round.
It has always been the club’s ambition to get into the group stages again and the last time was in the 2007-08 UEFA Cup.
Qualifying for the group stages would not only be a boost to Aberdeen’s European reputation, it would also bring a welcome financial boost.
Aberdeen are favourites and should go through, but at the same time nothing can be taken for granted.
Furuhashi brings ‘sparkle’ to Parkhead
Japanese attacker Kyogo Furuhashi looks to be a very strong addition for new Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.
Furuhashi netted a hat-trick in the 6-0 defeat of Dundee and could have netted even more goals in that Premiership win.
He also looked sharp in the 4-2 Europa League defeat of Jablonec away and netted.
It is clear Furuhashi knows how to finish and his arrival at Parkhead is just what Celtic needed as their form had been patchy.
There is ongoing speculation over the future of Odsonne Edouard ,who could exit Celtic before the transfer window closes.
When a quality player leaves a club, there is only one response – to replace them with more quality.
If Edouard does leave Celtic this season, the Hoops certainly look to have found a strong replacement in Furuhashi.
Celtic now have a fresh, quality player with a hunger, rather than one who has been at the club for a number of years.
We know Edouard’s quality, but his mind looks to be elsewhere.
I don’t think most people would have known too much about Furuhashi prior to his arrival in Scotland, but Celtic look to have secured a real gem.
He has brought a bit of sparkle to Parkhead at a time when Celtic sorely need it.