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Sean Wallace column: Offering new deal to Mikey Devlin would be a win-win for Aberdeen and the defender

Aberdeen defender Mikey Devlin.
Aberdeen defender Mikey Devlin.

Offering a short-term contract to Mikey Devlin would underline the soul at the heart of Aberdeen as a club.

It is understood Scotland international Devlin will be offered a contract extension by new manager Stephen Glass until January 2022.

Devlin is out of contract in the summer, but a short-term deal will offer an opportunity for the Scotland international to battle back to full match fitness and prove himself to the new Pittodrie gaffer.

Devlin has endured a miserable campaign blighted by injury and has managed just 56 minutes of action this term.

Many clubs faced with a similar situation would opt to cut their losses with a player with such injury misfortune when their contract expires.

Not Aberdeen, will will have shown faith in the defender if they offer a new deal.

Aberdeen’s Mikey Devlin, Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main (L-R) watch on injured in the opening game of the season against Rangers on August 1.

Devlin’s injury nightmare at Pittodrie started in November 2018 when he suffered a foot injury while training with the Scotland squad ahead of a Nations League tie with Albania.

He was set to start and earn a debut cap.

That season he had been superb and was one of Aberdeen’s standout performers until that injury hit.

He was subsequently ruled out for four months, missing the League Cup final loss to Celtic – another hammer blow for the defender.

This season, the 27-year-old missed the start of the campaign with a hamstring issue and returned to action from the bench in a 1-1 draw with St Mirren on December 5.

Unfortunately just days later Devlin would suffer ankle ligament damage while blocking a shot in training and he has yet to feature since that setback.

Offering Devlin a short-term deal would be beneficial to both player and club.

It allows Devlin the time to work on his fitness in an environment he knows and trusts.

Furthermore, if he can prove his fitness and rediscover his form, Aberdeen will have a Scotland defender.

Scotland’s John McGinn (R) celebrates his hat-trick goal with Mikey Devlin during a UEFA European qualifier against San Marino.

Offering Devlin a short-term deal would also show potential summer signings Aberdeen treat their players well – whether fit or injured.

That could potentially swing it for a player to commit to the Dons.

Glass has clearly seen enough of Devlin since arriving to convince him the defender can play a role for his side if fit – so hopefully he can finally get some luck and extended game time.

If, as expected, a short-term deal is tabled to Devlin, it would be no one-off as the Dons also looked out for defender Tommie Hoban when he suffered serious knee ligament damage while on loan at Pittodrie from Watford.

Hoban underwent surgery and faced a long rehabilitation, but Watford released him at the end of his contract months later.

However, the Dons offered him the use of their facilities for his rehab.

They felt a duty of care to the defender as he was injured in a red shirt.

Hoban eventually returned, proved his fitness and is now a key player.

Tommie Hoban battles for possession with Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard at Parkhead in February.

It is fitting this week is the anniversary of Aberdeen’s European Cup Winner’s Cup final triumph over Real Madrid in Gothenburg.

Following that momentous victory, Real Madrid manager Alfredo Di Stefano famously said: “Aberdeen have what money can’t buy; a soul, a team spirit built in a family tradition.”

Aberdeen’s treatment of Devlin and Hoban proves that Di Stefano’s observation remains just as relevant today.

Title party plans of some Rangers fans selfish

A group of selfish and ignorant Rangers fans are planning a title party following Sunday’s clash with Aberdeen which will be a slap in the face to people who have suffered bereavement from Covid-19.

Rangers “ultras” are planning to celebrate the Premiership title win outside Ibrox before marching to George Square in Glasgow’s city centre after the last game of the Premiership campaign.

Rangers will receive the Premiership trophy following the clash with the Dons.

Under current Scottish Government restrictions, no-one should gather in groups of more than six outside.

An estimated 7,000 Rangers fans descended on Ibrox and George Square on March 7 in a reckless disregard for lockdown rules when the club were confirmed as league champions.

Rangers fans celebrate after a game against St Mirren at Ibrox on March 6.

Thousands are again expected on Sunday.

Gathering in crowds risks lives and puts the emergence from lockdown restrictions in jeopardy.

Rangers fans have already had their illegal title party – it is shocking that they want another one.

For anyone considering turning up at Ibrox on Sunday, just think of others and the potential long-term ramifications of a lockdown-breaking title party.

Is it really worth it?

Stay at home and celebrate there.

Every person who participates in an illegal group outside Ibrox will be making a mockery of sacrifices made by millions over the last 15 months.

World champion Alvarez is the complete boxer

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez yet again proved he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters for a generation with his world title clash stoppage of Billy Joe Saunders.

Alvarez is the complete boxer, with sublime skill, speed and ring mastery on top of a Granite chin and devastating power.

Alverez’s ferocious right uppercut left Saunders with a broken eye socket and three fractures to his cheek bone.

His corner made the right call to end the fight at the end of the eighth.

Is a clash with IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant next for Alvarez?

This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.