Former Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean has backed Ash Taylor to make a big impact on his return to Pittodrie.
McLean, now with Norwich City, played two seasons with Taylor at the Dons and reckons the best is yet to come from the centre-half.
Taylor left Northampton Town in the summer, two seasons after departing Aberdeen following the 2017 Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic. The Cobblers were relegated a year ago and failed to get out of League 2 in last term.
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes re-signed Taylor to provide competition at the back, and Scotland international McLean is confident he will have a big role to play.
McLean said: “When Ash was first there he played just about every game in our Aberdeen team.
“I know he is a player that Derek trusts and will put his full trust and faith in.
“The job Derek has done from when I was there and through the years at bringing in players has been excellent.
“He always gets the best out of his players and his recruitment is also good.
“He has taken Ash back and Derek, obviously, still sees potential in him.
“Ash is only 28 and his best years are ahead of him.
“He was a top player for us, when I was there, and I am sure that will be the case going into the new season and going forward.
“Ash was a big, strong defender.
“The manager knew what he was good at and will see those same strengths. Ash went back down the road for family reasons.
“I know he enjoyed Aberdeen because I used to stay close to him and his family. I know he had to think long and hard about leaving Aberdeen but I think it is a great signing from Derek to get him back up.”
While McInnes has a summer rebuild on his hands, the signings of Taylor, Curtis Main and Ryan Hedges indicate he is getting on with his business early.
McLean has little doubt McInnes can keep Aberdeen challenging at the top end of the table, despite the upheaval.
He added: “Aberdeen have been really consistent under Derek in recent seasons.
“He has got them back into Europe and I know he will rebuild again and you will know that whoever he signs that Aberdeen will be up there challenging at the right end of the table.
“They are a massive club. I know Aberdeen have lost a few players this summer and there will be a few new signings coming in but it is definitely a positive that Ash has already played at the club and knows what is expected.
“There was quite a bit of interest in Ash when he was coming out of Aberdeen and I know Derek will be looking to get him back to playing that level again.
“Aberdeen also have Mikey Devlin and Scott McKenna in the Scotland squad, so with big Ash and Andrew Considine there will be real competition for places.”