Connor McLennan hailed Gary Mackay-Steven as a big influence on him and hopes Aberdeen can hold on to the flying winger.
Mackay-Steven is interesting MLS side New York City but McLennan, who came on for the 28-year-old in the Betfred Cup final last month, believes it is integral to the Dons that they keep him.
Both players got 45 minutes in the 2-0 friendly win over Dibba Al-Hisn on Sunday, with Mackay-Steven making his first appearance since that December 2 game, following a nasty head injury sustained in a collision with Dedryck Boyata.
McLennan has reaped the rewards of his influence so far and hopes he decides to snub interest from elsewhere to stay at Pittodrie.
He said: “He’s a massive player for us and one we have to hold on to if we’re going to make that big push at the end of the season.
“He’s not the loudest guy but even just looking at him and the stuff he does you can learn from that and it’s brilliant to see. He’s not the loudest on the pitch or off it but he’ll always help you, he’s always willing, and just looking at him and how he is around the place I try to keep an eye on him. Hopefully I can bring that into my game too.
“In training I look up to him. He gives me as much advice as he can. I’d like to be playing with him, I think we’d work well together, but we’ll see how it goes.
“He showed the class he has in the game on Sunday. I’m always looking up to him, getting tips from him. It’s great to see him playing. Hopefully I can play with him again soon.”
Buchan-born McLennan admitted the circumstances of his arrival in the cup final made it difficult for him, given the extended delay to the game while Mackay-Steven received treatment.
He added: “It looked grim at the time. It was gutting for Gaz. We do need him in the team he’s a great talent and I just look up to him as much as I can and hopefully I can just learn as much as I can from him.
“It was obviously devastating to see. No-one wants to see that. I think I obviously wasn’t expecting it, you don’t expect that sort of stuff, but it was heartbreaking for him.”
The first half of the season has been one to remember for McLennan. After his first goal against St Mirren in October, he has impressed with his performances out wide and hopes there is more to come in the next few months.
He said: “Hopefully it’s about more of the same for me now, that’s what I’m aiming for now in the second half of the season. Obviously it will be good to get everyone back and have a full squad again but hopefully I can just push as much as I can into the first team.”