Pittodrie goal legend Frank McDougall warns Aberdeen must appoint a new manager now or risk another striker crisis.
Chairman Dave Cormack and the club’s board are searching for a successor to Derek McInnes.
Atlanta United 2 coach Stephen Glass is the frontrunner for the post.
Glass reportedly wants Celtic captain Scott Brown as player-assistant manager and England striker coach Allan Russell on his backroom staff if he’s appointed to the Pittodrie position.
However, McDougall, inset, fears the new boss will inherit a striker emergency and must be in before the end of the season to address it.
Aberdeen currently have no senior strikers signed for next season.
Loan players Florian Kamberi (St Gallen), Fraser Hornby (Stade de Reims) and Callum Hendry (St Johnstone) all return to their parent clubs at the end of the season.
Bruce Anderson, currently on loan at Hamilton, will see his deal expire this summer as well.
McDougall said: “The lack of signed strikers for next season is a massive problem for the new manager.
“Aberdeen don’t just need strikers – they need scoring strikers that can deliver 20 goals a season to bring success.
“Goalscorers bring trophies, but they are not easy to come by unless you are willing to spend money.
“I can’t see that happening with the way the way the pandemic has hit finances at Aberdeen.
“Having no striker signed is a very tough situation for the new manager to walk into, which is why Aberdeen cannot wait until summer to appoint him.
“They have to get a manager in now so he can address that huge striker problem.
“If they wait until the end of the season to appoint a new manager it raises so many questions.
“Has the recruitment process began, even though there isn’t a manager in place?
“If so, are there centre-forwards already lined up by Aberdeen?
“And if there are, will the ones lined up be what the new manager wants?
“The only way to answer them is to get the new manager in now.”
Aberdeen’s striker crisis was ultimately one of the main contributing factors to McInnes’ exit from the club after eight years.
Prior to the January transfer window opening, the Reds’ two main centre-forwards Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main had scored only three goals each.
McInnes moved to rectify that situation although it ultimately came down to a late transfer deadline day scramble to push through an attack revamp.
The sale of Cosgrove to Birmingham City for £2m was the catalyst with Main also exiting for Shrewsbury.
Three loan strikers were introduced in Kamberi, Hornby and Hendry.
Only Hendry has scored, a header in the 1-0 defeat of Kilmarnock, which is also the Dons’ only goal in their last nine fixtures.
McDougall said: “It is vital Aberdeen sign strikers that score goals for next season.
“That lack of goals was the problem Derek McInnes had and even the three loan strikers he took in have only scored once.
“The club cannot let the lack of goal threat drag on into the next campaign.
“Having no strikers signed beyond the summer is far from an ideal scenario for a new manager to inherit.
“Which is why they must appoint a manager soon.”
One of the club’s greatest ever goalscorers, McDougall won every domestic honour at Pittodrie under Sir Alex Ferguson.
He netted 24 league goals in his debut season to fire the Dons to the Premier League title.
McDougall insists if Glass is the target, the club must bring him in now to start the rebuild and source some striking options.
He does not want the manager to suffer a late scramble like McInnes did on deadline day to fix a glaringly obvious shortfall.
McDougall said: “The new manager will be tasked with fixing the striker problem and if he doesn’t come in until the summer he has very little time.
“Aberdeen is a massive club and I just don’t understand the wait.
“If you have someone in mind. move to get him in now.
“Get the manager in now to start sourcing new signings.”