Former Aberdeen defender Anthony O’Connor has backed Dons striker Sam Cosgrove to continue his rapid rise.
Cosgrove joined from Carlisle United in January 2018 – O’Connor’s last season at Pittodrie – and has been transformed from a raw target man into the Dons’ top scorer.
His form during the 2019-20 season saw him linked to a number of English Championship clubs, including Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Derby County. A tally of 23 goals was three times more than his nearest competitor in the Aberdeen squad.
O’Connor, now with League Two side Bradford City, reckons there is more to come from the transformed striker.
O’Connor said: “It’s been a brilliant rise for him. He came in during the January, the last season I was there, and didn’t get off to the best of starts getting sent off against Celtic.
“It was early days and he’d just signed from Carlisle. He was a bit raw. He’s a handful for any defender and always did a lot for the team. He just needed to add goals to his game.
“That season I was there, we had a great run in the last six games and pipped Rangers into second spot. He had a big part to play in that. It was just the goals that were missing.
“He got 20-plus the season after and 20-plus goals this season. Hopefully he can keep doing that and keep improving.
“Who knows where it can take him. You never really know until someone is given a proper chance.
“You’ve obviously got talent if you’re at a club like Aberdeen, but I suppose it’s the hard work that sets you apart. Sam is a really hard worker on the pitch and always works on his game.”
O’Connor believes manager Derek McInnes ought to take great credit for sticking with Cosgrove, even after that early red card against Celtic.
He added: “He’s got a manager who’s given him a chance – he’s taken it and he’s repaid him with a lot of goals.””