Aberdeen will give new signing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas the platform to show his class insists manager Stephen Glass.
Emmanuel-Thomas, aka JET, is Glass’ first addition in the ongoing revamp of the Dons attack for the new season.
Glass is closing in on further bolstering the front-line with the addition of Houston Dynamo striker Christian Ramirez.
Secured on a two-year contract, Emmanuel-Thomas netted nine times for Livingston last season.
Glass reckons the former Arsenal attacker has yet to show his top form in Scotland as he offers much more than a physical presence.
The Pittodrie boss is confident starring for the Reds in Europe and the Premiership will allow Emmanuel-Thomas the chance to show how good he really is.
Glass said: “Jay has a big, imposing presence but he is a better footballer than people in Scotland have seen.
“I think Jay will be keen to show that and we will create an environment where he can do that.
“We will push Jay to be as fit physically as he can get and give him a chance to showcase his talents.
“He is a big signing for us.”
Aberdeen supporters will need little reminder of Emmanuel-Thomas’ talents as three of his nine goals last season came against the Dons.
He netted twice in a 2-2 Scottish Cup clash that the Dons eventually won in a penalty shoot-out at Pittodrie on April 17.
Emmanuel-Thomas netted his spot-kick in that shoot-out.
He then scored a spectacular goal in Livingston’s 2-1 loss to Aberdeen at the Tony Macaroni Arena on May 1.
Arsene Wenger hailed JET’s finishing
Emmanuel-Thomas was one of the hottest young talents in England whilst at Arsenal.
The attacker came through the youth ranks at the London club and won the 2008-09 FA Youth Cup with the Gunners.
Then Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger put Emmanuel-Thomas on loan to gain experience at Blackpool and Doncaster but was confident he could become an Arsenal first team star.
Emmanuel-Thomas would go on to have spells with Ipswich Town, Bristol City and QPR before a spell in Thailand.
He signed for Livingston last October.
Whilst playing under Wenger the legendary Arsenal manager hailed Emmanuel-Thomas as ‘unbelievable finisher with outstanding quality’ insisting ‘right foot, left foot, he is unbelievable in front of goal’.
Glass is determined to raise Emmanuel-Thomas to those levels at Pittodrie.
Dons boss Glass said: “Jay carries a goal threat and has a big presence
“We have felt that goal threat only too much ourselves.
“He is a also a very good footballer.”
Aberdeen close in on Christian Ramirez
Emmanuel-Thomas began working with the Dons on Monday at the first day of pre-season training at Cormack Park.
He is the only senior striker signed at the club at the moment although Glass is well down the road to further adding to his attack.
Capped twice by his country the 30-year-old has also agreed personal terms, and a wage cut, to move to Pittodrie.
The only remaining barrier for the Dons in the signing of Ramirez is securing a work permit.
Aberdeen are working on that at the moment and hope it can be secured to allow Ramirez to fly into Scotland next week to begin his quarantine.
Known as ‘Superman’ striker Ramirez was not in the match-day squad for Houston Dynamo’s 2-2 draw at home to Portland Timbers on Wednesday.
Glass refuses to talk about any transfer targets or speculation.
However he accepts the need to add more firepower up-front alongside Emmanuel-Thomas.
Glass insists the Dons are working over-time behind the scenes to sign a striker.
He said: “It is clear we need to add someone, or some people, at the top end of the pitch.
“We will do that but will put the right people in place there.
“We are very aware that it is important we get the right pieces in.
“But we are working ever so hard behind the scenes to get it done.
“And we will.”