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Striker Marley Watkins has returned to Aberdeen on a two-year deal ahead of tonight’s huge clash with Qarabag

Aberdeen's Marley Watkins and Dundee United's Calum Butcher tangle.
Aberdeen's Marley Watkins and Dundee United's Calum Butcher tangle at Tannadice last season.

Aberdeen have confirmed Marley Watkins has returned to the club on a two-year deal.

Watkins, 30, was on loan at Pittodrie in the first half of last season under previous boss Derek McInnes, however, a hamstring injury put paid to his spell – after 13 appearances and two goals – and he returned to parent club Bristol City.

He was released by Bristol at the end of last term, before a short spell with Cardiff City, and new Dons gaffer Stephen Glass has moved to add him to a cohort of strikers which also includes Christian Ramirez, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Wolves loanee Austin Samuels – who arrived earlier in the week.

On securing Welsh international and former Inverness Caley Thistle forward Watkins, who has been handed the number seven shirt, Glass said: “I’m delighted Marley has chosen to return to the Club.

“In his previous spell at Aberdeen his influence on the team was enormous and we are looking forward to having him back in a red jersey. I expect the fans will be delighted to see him back with the club.

“We have beaten off a lot of competition for him and I am sure he will enjoy a great reception upon his return to Pittodrie.”

Watkins said: “I’m over the moon to be back, I loved it here my first time and can’t wait to get going.

“I feel I came here last time and I wasn’t even fit – I came here to get games. Now I’m fit, I’ve had a good pre-season and hope I can hit the ground running. Hopefully I can deliver.

“I got in at Cardiff, but the chairman blocked it (a longer-term deal) and Aberdeen were still interested, luckily. I can’t wait to get going – it’s a great club

“There’s so many exciting games to be part of. We want to be as ambitious as possible, I see they are building a great squad and I’m excited.”

Earlier on Thursday, rumours of Watkins’ return were ablaze on social media after a member of the Red Army used a flight tracker to follow a flight it was believed the player had boarded.

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