While Pedro Caixinha’s new cycle has suffered a puncture already it seems Aberdeen are pumping up theirs and getting ready to go with optimism for their new season.
The Dons will discover tomorrow whether it’s Bosnia or Kazakhstan which beckons for their Europa League opener but the Reds are going into the game in good health following the arrival of new players.
Yes, Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn have gone but manager Derek McInnes is staying and hard at work at bringing in reinforcements.
He may have to wait for Shaun Maloney with the former Celtic midfielder suffering a groin injury which could keep him out for six weeks. The Dons and Maloney are investigating the severity of the injury before completing the formalities of a deal to bring the 34-year-old north.
Certainly, a fit and in-form Maloney would be an exciting addition. He doesn’t boast the pace of a Hayes but he is a clever player who can play through the middle, off a forward or out wide. Add in a goal threat and he’d be a signing which would excite the support.
Stevie May is another player who McInnes wants on board but again, he is having to play the waiting game for his man. The change of manager at Preston has created a hitch but the Dons manager will be hoping he can convince Alex Neil to part company with the former St Johnstone forward.
McInnes’ desire to have May on board is understandable. It was his goals which cost the Dons the chance of a cup double in 2014 and May, like Maloney, is another versatile attacking player who would add firepower to the Dons.
Plus, think of the number of May 11 shirts which could be sold at Pittodrie if they did get him.
There are still gaps to be plugged with former Don Kari Arnason the latest to be linked with a return to Pittodrie. Like Maloney, he would be an elder statesman of the side at 34 but there’s no doubting his quality.
He was a cult figure first time around at the Dons and more than a few would be delighted to see the Icelandic international back playing in a red shirt.
While the search for new recruits continues the Aberdeen support were given their first look at the newcomers in Saturday’s 3-0 win at St Johnstone with Greg Tansey, Ryan Christie and Greg Stewart all featuring at McDiarmid Park.
All three will again be involved at Arbroath tomorrow but it’s clear they have something to offer.
Tansey was perhaps the biggest surprise in Perth, the former Caley Thistle midfielder playing wide left in an attacking role. It was a change from his deeper, more defensive position he occupied at Caley Thistle but time will tell whether McInnes sees him as a long term option further forward or was merely experimenting.
Former Dundee forward Stewart, who has joined on a season’s loan from Birmingham City, lacks sharpness but that should come as no surprise following his difficult time in England with the Blues.
But he showed what he was capable of at Dundee under Paul Hartley and his direct style and goal return will make him another dangerous option for the Dons manager.
Rounding off the new arrivals is a familiar face in Christie. He carried on where he left off last season, the on-loan Celtic midfielder making a late run into the box to head Shay Logan’s cross home for a goal.
McInnes wanted him on a permanent deal and it is not hard to see why. A young man but a class act, Christie has a bright future ahead of him. Expect the Dons manager to spend the season trying to convince Christie it is at Pittodrie.