Former Dons midfielder Derek Young believes Aberdeen’s annual summer rebuild is a by- product of their success.
Having to restructure his squad in the post-season has become a regular occurrence for manager Derek McInnes.
Although the Dons boss has moved quickly to secure three new signings, the main priority remains securing a replacement for captain Graeme Shinnie.
The Scotland international rejected a new Dons deal to join Championship Derby County on a three-year contract.
Young insists McInnes gets unjustified flak for his now annual rebuild as losing top players has been outwith his control.
McInnes and the Dons offered a deal that would have made Shinnie the highest paid at the club in a bid to retain the captain. However, the far higher wages available in England and the lure of the Championship, and potential step up to the top flight, were too strong for the Dons to overcome.
For Young, replacing Shinnie on the Dons budget will be McInnes’ toughest challenge in another pivotal transfer window.
Young, 39, said: “This summer is another building job for Derek McInnes as he needs to put a team together.
“It seems to be the same every season lately.
“You feel bad for Derek because sometimes he gets a bit of stick for different things happening with the team.
“However, a lot of it is out of his hands, as his best players get taken away from him every year.
“You just have to look at the situation with Graeme Shinnie.
“Aberdeen offered Graeme the best contract they could to stay at the club, but it was still nowhere near what Derby could give or whoever else was willing to offer a contract.
“However, Aberdeen are obviously doing something right as these players are performing at the top of the game and teams with maybe a bit more exposure in England are taking them.
“Derek is trying to get players in to cover for the loss of players like Shinnie.”
McInnes recently stated he cannot sign “like for like” on the Dons’ budget to replace departing players like Shinnie.
Instead he will have to rely on signing young talents and developing them to that level.
Young said: “Derek knows he has not got the money there and it is hard to get players of these standards to come without actually paying them high money.”
McInnes has moved quickly to make three early acquisitions with Welsh international Ryan Hedges signing a pre-contract on a three-year deal from Barnsley.
McInnes also beat Hearts to the signature of Motherwell striker Curtis Main, whose deal was set to expire, on a two-year contract.
Former Dons defender Ash Taylor has also returned to the club on a two-year deal.
Aberdeen are understood to be weighing up a move for Motherwell midfielder Alex Gorrin. Spaniard Gorrin is set to become a free agent having rejected the offer of a new contract from the Steelmen.
The 25-year-old is also being tracked by Lech Poznan of Poland and MLS sides Toronto FC and Atlanta United.
Aberdeen are also keen on Livingston midfielder Scott Pittman and made an enquiry in January. Livi were looking for a six-figure fee when the Dons first enquired and that figure will have increased after he signed on for an extra year until 2021. MLS side Cincinnati are understood to be targeting a move for Pittman.
Young said: “The chairman (Stewart Milne) and the board look like they are going to back Derek. Why shouldn’t they as he has done a fantastic job.
“It is all about making sure Derek gets the players in during the summer.”
McInnes will hope to get more signings in time for the Europa League first qualifying round, which begins on July 11.
During two stints at Pittodrie, (1996-2003, 2007-11) Young faced teams like Hertha Berlin and Atletico Madrid in European action.
Young said: “Aberdeen need European football.
“They are accustomed to it and it is now expected Aberdeen will qualify for Europe.”