Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass is confident summer signing Christian Ramirez can help Pittodrie’s rising stars shine.
United States international Ramirez represents a major summer signing for Glass having arrived on a two-year deal from Houston Dynamo.
Glass reckons the 30-year-old will bring much more than goals.
He is confident Ramirez, who has coaching experience in the United States, will also aid the development of the club’s young talent.
Ramirez is set to make his competitive Aberdeen debut in the Uefa Europa Conference League clash with BK Hacken at Pittodrie next Thursday.
Glass said: “Christian has a great presence, his work ethic is fantastic and I think he will help the young players.
“That is an important point when you bring in senior players.”
No gamble signing experienced players
Ramirez is one of six signings introduced by Glass during the summer transfer window with Scott Brown, Declan Gallagher, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Jack Gurr and Teddy Jenks also secured.
Capped twice by the United States, Ramirez, 30, is one of four players signed in their thirties.
Former Celtic skipper Brown, who has signed on in a player-coach role, is 36, with Scotland international Gallagher and striker Emmanuel-Thomas both 30.
All four players in their thirties have penned two-year deals until summer 2023.
Glass insists opting for experienced campaigners with a proven track record was a solid philosophy in his first transfer window as Aberdeen manager.
He believes there is more of a gamble taking in younger players tied on long deals and is confident the veterans will all strengthen the Dons on and off the pitch.
Glass said: “The players we have brought in of that age are not on crazy long contracts.
“To me it is less of a gamble than bringing in a 25 or 26-year-old on three years and it then doesn’t work out after six months to a year.
“I think we have seen that in the past.
“However, we are confident in what we are getting and in what these players will add to the youth at the club.”
Friendly double header for Aberdeen
Ramirez made his Aberdeen debut in a closed-door friendly with Championship Inverness Caley Thistle at Cormack park last Thursday.
Although Ramirez did not net against the Highlanders in the 1-1 draw, the former Minnesota United and Los Angeles FC striker did score in a bounce game involving the club’s Academy stars on the same day.
Ramirez is set to feature in a friendly double-header at Cormack Park on Friday.
The Reds face Championship side Reading at 1.30pm before playing Scottish Cup and League Cup winners St Johnstone at 6.30pm.
Ramirez will make his competitive debut in the second qualifying round first leg clash with Sweden’s BK Hacken next Thursday.
What a view 😍 pic.twitter.com/zd4jOcMyS4
— Christian Ramirez (@Chris_Ramirez17) July 13, 2021
Competitive debut in front of supporters
A minimum of 2,000 fans will attend that Euro tie to watch Glass’ rebuilt team in action for the first time.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week confirmed that Scotland is to move to level zero with Covid restrictions lifted as planned on Monday July 19, just three days before the BK Hacken clash.
From Monday, seated outdoor stadiums can host 2,000 fans, and standing venues can accommodate 1,000.
Applications for an increased number of fans can be made to local authorities on a case-by-case basis and the Dons are awaiting clarification on a submission to have 8,200 supporters at the BK Hacken tie and the Premiership opener against Dundee United on August 1.
Although Ramirez did not score in his Dons debut against Inverness Caley Thistle, Glass insists the striker’s movement, positional sense and work ethic were impressive – and is backing him to bringing those qualities to competitive action against BK Hacken.
Glass continued: “I said to Allan (Russell, assistant manager) there at times it drops (tempo) and before it might have been because someone is not there.
“But Christian is always there, so when the chances are being made we will have people in the right places with the right quality.
“That is good for us.”