Former Don Brian Irvine believes Aberdeen would be gaining two players in one if they can lure Jonny Hayes back to Pittodrie.
Hayes is a free agent after his contract with Celtic expired and has said he would be open to a return to Pittodrie.
Dons chairman Dave Cormack has also spoken of his willingness to try to bring Hayes, part of the League Cup winning team of 2014, back if manager Derek McInnes wants him and Irvine believes Hayes would be a valuable addition.
He said: “Jonny knows the Aberdeen manager well while Derek will be looking at Jonny as a possible two players in one given his ability to play as a winger or at left back so it would be a win-win for all parties.
“Football is facing such an uncertain time at the moment and budgets are going to be tight as a result of the financial challenges facing the majority of clubs especially in Scotland. Any manager would welcome a free agent of his quality.”
Hayes’ former team-mate at Pittodrie, Niall McGinn, remains a key member of the Dons side since returning to the club from Gwangju in January 2018 and Irvine believes Aberdeen would be gaining the services of a more rounded player if they can entice Hayes into returning to the Granite City.
Irvine said: “It’s the old cliché of players shouldn’t go back but Russell Anderson had a very productive second spell while Niall McGinn has also carried on where he left off since returning to the club.
“There were no problems with either of those guys and I think it is clear Jonny still has an affinity for the club going by his recent comments.
“He was such a good player when he left but I think with the experience he has gained from playing for Celtic and the pressure that comes with being at a club of that stature can only have improved him as a player and a person if he does come back.”
Hayes was a huge favourite among the Aberdeen support in his first spell at the club and Irvine sees no reason why the 32 year-old cannot be a major contributor.
Irvine, who retired from playing with Ross County at the age of 38, said: “Jonny is 33 next month but other than the broken leg he suffered at Celtic in 2017 he has avoided serious injuries.
“I think of my own career and I managed to play well into my 30s before retiring so I don’t see age, especially in this day and age, being a negative factor at all.
“He is a quality player and one with a lot of experience.”