Former Dons forward Frank McDougall believes Niall McGinn is the man who can solve Aberdeen’s striker crisis.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is down to the bare bones when it comes to attacking options after loan striker Ryan Edmondson, who was brought in two weeks ago due to injuries to last season’s leading goalscorer Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main, set to sit out the next three to four months after injuring his ankle in training on Monday.
The loss of another attacker leavings Bruce Anderson as the only recognised first team option for McInnes but he is one of the eight players in isolation after they visited a city centre bar on August 1.
McDougall believes the man who fell just short in 2012 of equalling his club record of scoring in eight league matches in a row can be a short-term answer.
The former Don said: “Niall McGinn has got to play up front for Aberdeen now. He’s proven he can lead the line after doing it under Craig Brown and he nearly matched by record by scoring in seven games in a row.
“He has played out wide for Derek in his time at the club but he knows how to lead the line, knows the way to goal, and can finish. It’s asking a lot of a young lad like Bruce Anderson to take it all on himself now and he’s one of the eight boys who went out so it’s doubtful whether he is ready anyway.
“I would have said Jonny Hayes was an option there too and certainly he has to play in an attacking role but he is in the same situation as Anderson. That’s why McGinn is the obvious choice for me.”
The timing of Edmondson’s injury and return to Leeds could not be worse for the Dons and their manager ahead of a gruelling schedule.
Aberdeen will be playing twice a week due to their European commitments and McDougall hopes Dons chairman Dave Cormack will sanction a move for another striker to bolster the club’s bid to reach the group stages of the Europa League.
He said: “I cannot believe a club of Aberdeen’s size and stature find themselves with one fit striker and they have to get someone in.
“I know the chairman has stretched the budget to get Edmondson in and another forward will be an attacking expense but if they are to have any chance of reaching the group stages of the Europa League they have to get someone in.
“It would man stretching the budget further but it’s an investment which will pay off financially if the Dons get there. There’s more money on offer for reaching the group stages than you get for winning the league in Scotland so it’s a risk worth taking.
“I’d be temped if I was Aberdeen to put all my eggs into this basket and go for it.”