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Aberdeen boss keen to sign Mikey Devlin on new deal if he can prove fitness

Aberdeen's Mikey Devlin at full time after a 0-0 draw with Rangers at Ibrox in February 2020,
Aberdeen's Mikey Devlin at full time after a 0-0 draw with Rangers at Ibrox in February 2020,

Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass has confirmed he wants to sign Mikey Devlin on a new deal if he can prove his fitness.

Glass is confident a fit Devlin ‘will be a great addition for us’.

The Scotland international centre-back’s short-term contract expires at the end of January.

Glass hopes the 28-year-old can battle back from long term injury to earn a new deal.

Devlin has not played for more than a year due to an ankle injury and recently suffered a setback.

The Dons are confident that injury setback has been resolved but anticipate it will be another six to seven weeks before he is available.

That will be around the end of his current contract.

Aberdeen’s Matty Kennedy and Mikey Devlin (right) celebrate at full time during the Scottish Cup quarter final defeat of St Mirren in February 2020.

Centre-back Devlin last played for the Dons when featuring as a substitute in the 1-1 draw with St Mirren on December 5, 2020.

Devlin has played just 56 minutes in the last 18 months.

Despite his lack of game time the Dons gave Devlin, whose deal expired at the end of last season, a a six month contract extension this summer.

Aberdeen’s Mikey Devlin (left) tackles Celtic’s Vakoun Issouf Bayo at Pittodrie on October 27 2019.

Glass said: “I think we will have a decision to make by the end of January.

“The fact we have stayed loyal to Mikey knowing there was going to be a potential issue points to the fact we like him around.

“I would like the opportunity to have Mikey in and around our team.

“If Mikey is capable of doing it I think he will be a great addition for us.

“It’s the reason we have done what we have done for him.”

Aberdeen’s Scotland international centre-back Mikey Devlin in action.

Devlin dogged by injury setbacks

Devlin has not started a game for Aberdeen since a 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock in March 2020 and Glass has yet to see him in action.

Glass signed Scotland international centre-backs David Bates and Declan Gallagher during the summer transfer window.

However he would ideally like to re-sign Devlin to add to his defensive options.

Signed from Hamilton in January 2018, Devlin has made just 35 starts for Aberdeen.

He has made a further 16 appearances off the bench.

Aberdeen defender Michael (Mikey) Devlin at Cormack Park, in February 2020

Injury setback on Scotland duty

When signing for Aberdeen, Devlin was battling back from a cruciate ligament injury suffered with Hamilton in the final Premiership game of the 2017-18 season.

Devlin continued his rehabilitation at Pittodrie upon signing.

He  made his Dons debut in the 1-1 draw with English Premier League side Burnley in the Europa League at Pittodrie on July 26, 2018.

The defender made an impressive start to his Dons career and earned a call-up to the Scotland squad in November that year.

However Devlin suffered a foot injury while training with the Scotland squad in November 2018  ahead of a Nations League tie with Albania.

Scotland’s Mikey Devlin during a Scotland training session at The Oriam on November 12, 2019

He had been set to start that Nations League match and earn a debut cap.

In a further blow the centre-back was subsequently ruled out for four months, missing the League Cup final loss to Celtic.

On returning to fitness Devlin earned three Scotland caps in the 2019-20 season in Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia, San Marino and Cyprus.

However, his injury misfortune struck again when missing the start of last season with a hamstring issue.

Devlin did not return to action until late November 2020 as a substitute.

Scott McKenna (left) and Mikey Devlin on Scotland duty ahead of a Euro 2020 qualifying group game with Cyprus.

Unfortunately, just days later, Devlin would suffer ankle ligament damage while blocking a shot in training – and he has yet to feature since that fresh setback.

‘We still see potential in him’

Aberdeen director of football Steven Gunn confirmed Devlin is expected to be available again in six to seven weeks.

Speaking at the club’s 118th AGM at Pittodrie,  Gunn said: “Mikey has obviously had some significant challenges with injury.

“He had a recent set back which we have now addressed and resolved.

“He has another six or seven weeks before we will see him available.

“We will monitor him over that period of time then we will make a decision from there.

“The ball, I suppose, is in Mikey’s court in that regard.

“If he is capable of getting back to that level the possibility is there.

“That’s why he is still here at the club because we still see potential in him.”

Aberdeen’s Mikey Devlin (L) in action with Hibernian’s Florian Kamberi in 2018.

‘Hoping and praying’ Devlin proves his fitness

Aberdeen offered a show of faith in Devlin by giving him a contract extension until January 31 to allow the window to return from injury.

Club chairman Dave Cormack says everyone at Pittodrie is ‘hoping and praying’ he can get back to full fitness.

Cormack said: “Mikey really is determined.

“Football seems to be a glamorous sport at times.

“But when boys like that go through what they have you feel for them.

“Mikey is not on much of a wage at all but he is here with us looking to prove himself.

“We are all hoping and praying that he gets through this next six to seven weeks to demonstrate he can get back to full fitness.”

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