Former Aberdeen striker Scott Vernon reckons Jonny Hayes would be a good addition should he return to Pittodrie.
Hayes finds himself out of contract at Celtic this summer and admitted over the weekend he did not know whether an Aberdeen return would be an option.
Vernon and Hayes played together in the last Dons side to win a trophy – the League Cup in 2014 – and believes he has the quality required to make a playing return in the Granite City.
He said: “Why not? I think Jonny really enjoyed his time at Aberdeen and did really well to get his move to Celtic. I don’t know what the plans are to keep him or release him (from Celtic) but if that happened then I’m sure Jonny would be open to coming back to Aberdeen. He’s a good addition to the team, has loads of energy, is busy and has quality.
“That’s one thing that stood out when he (McInnes) came. He signed players and stood by them. A lot of them have done really well for him. Niall McGinn went away and came back again, which he obviously thought highly of. It’s good to see that a couple of the lads are still there.”
Vernon now plays non-league football for Cleethorpes Town, having represented Shrewsbury and Grimsby after leaving the Granite City. He scored the third penalty in the 2014 shootout against Caley Thistle, the only piece of silverware the club has won in 25 years.
They have had near misses in the Scottish Cup and again in the League Cup since then, however further success under Derek McInnes has eluded them.
He said: “Six years has past now and I thought, to be fair, Aberdeen would have won another cup in the last six years. But I know how tough it is, to get your hands on one of them cups. We had a good year in the cup that year; we managed to scrape through in the final, even if it was a terrible game. But that didn’t matter as we’d won.
“At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about for fans. I’ve been part of that team and I know how lads think. It is tough when you’re playing against teams with massive budgets but ultimately, the fans want success and silverware which is understandable.”
The 36-year-old has praise for the job McInnes has done with Aberdeen, with him now being the second-longest-serving manager in Scotland.
Vernon added: “That can only benefit the team and club. He’s done really well since he’s come in so there’s probably been no need to change anything, with regards the management team.
“Season after season he’s proven himself and they’ve got a new training ground too, which I was gutted I couldn’t be part of.”