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Willie Miller: Signing St Mirren’s Jamie McGrath would strengthen Aberdeen

Aberdeen have ended their interest in St Mirren midfielder Jamie McGrath.
Aberdeen have ended their interest in St Mirren midfielder Jamie McGrath.

Signing St Mirren’s Republic of Ireland international midfielder Jamie McGrath would be a positive addition for Aberdeen.

The Dons are reportedly set to rekindle their interest in McGrath during the ongoing January transfer window.

I’m not surprised, because from a creative, goalscoring point of view, McGrath would be a strong signing.

There has been interest from various clubs for McGrath, so I’m sure if Aberdeen were to make a move they would face competition.

McGrath’s ability is clear so there’s no surprise Aberdeen’s interest is still there.

St Mirren’s Jamie McGrath makes it 1-1 against Aberdeen in December 2020.

He scored 17 goals in all competitions last season, which is a fantastic return from midfield.

Although he has only netted three times so far this season, it is already proven that he brings a potent goal threat.

McGrath is out of contract at the end of the season and is free to speak to any interested clubs now the transfer window has opened.

Aberdeen attacker Ryan Hedges is also in the same situation as his Pittodrie contract expires at the end of the season.

Dons boss Stephen Glass recently admitted it looks like Hedges is unlikely to sign the new contract offered to him.

The ideal scenario for Aberdeen could be securing McGrath this month and Hedges moving – if Hedges doesn’t want to stay.

That would be better suited to the long-term picture for the club and manager Glass.

Hedges maybe doesn’t want to commit to the club, so it seems like an ideal exchange, where he would go and McGrath comes in.

It would give the manager that long-term comfort of knowing he has a player signed up for number of years.

Aberdeen’s Ryan Hedges celebrates the opening goal in the 2-0 defeat of Livingston.

They are different players, but bring that same attacking quality.

It will be disappointing if Hedges does leave the club as he is a key player.

Hedges’ value was shown in the final game before the rescheduled winter shutdown when nettingΒ  the equaliser in the 2-1 defeat of Dundee.

However, the reality is he has yet to sign a new contract.

Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson celebrates with Ryan Hedges after making it 2-1 against Dundee on Boxing Day.

For me, if a player intimates they may want to go at the end of the season, in most cases – not all – it’s better they move on sooner rather than later.

If you can get some financial settlement from the club they are moving to that would help the manager in his plans for next season.

It would also free up a wage as well that the manager can use to get someone on a longer-term deal.

If a player looks to be moving on at the end of the season, my preference would be to move him on rather than hold on to him.

Aberdeen’s Ryan Hedges celebrates scoring against Livingston in a 2-0 win.

However, it ultimately comes down to circumstances and whether the club a player is eventually going to go to would be willing to play a fee for him. And also what the manager is thinking between now and the end of the season.

If you are taking an overview the long-term situation is better addressed, rather than know you are going to lose a player short term.

McGrath would certainly be a strong addition if the Dons could get him this month.

Even if they secure a pre-contract for McGrath.

The St Mirren midfielder recently started in Republic of Ireland’s 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw with Portugal.

He is now an established international.

The way the modern game is, you look for midfielders to be active in the goal scoring charts.

Invariably it is one up top that most teams play.

So it becomes about supporting players from midfield also pitching in with goals.

McGrath can deliver that… and more.

Club record transfer fee for Ramsay

Transfer speculation around Calvin Ramsay is ramping up, but hopefully he will still be at Pittodrie when the window closes.

A host of English Premier League clubs, as well as Italians Bologna and Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt have been linked with the teen.

Ideally he will stay this month.

However, there has to be a recognition that if the right offer comes in then the player should get the opportunity to parade his skills at a higher level.

Right-back Calvin Ramsay in action against Dundee on Boxing Day.

Ramsay is contracted to Aberdeen until summer 2024, which is a real positive.

So the good news is that when Ramsay does go it will take a substantial fee to sign him.

When you take into account how good Ramsay is and the size of the clubs looking at him, any fee must exceed Aberdeen’s club record.

That was Β£3m for the transfer of Scott McKenna to Nottingham Forest in 2020.

When Ramsay leaves, if not this month then in the future, a large fee is needed so that Aberdeen can continue to invest in the Youth Development system.

Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay during the 2-1 defeat of Dundee at Pittodrie.

Not all of a transfer fee can be reinvested in big name players.

Some of it can, but a portion must go towards keeping the club afloat and also into the Youth Academy.

I’m sure that’s what the people in charge will do if he does exit the club.

Ramsay’s situation can also help the Dons secure more young talent.

It’s a great story for Aberdeen’s development department to convey to parents of young players they want to secure.

If you add Ramsay to Ryan Jack, Scott McKenna and Ryan Fraser, who are all now international players it is a compelling argument.

Wanted man Calvin Ramsay of Aberdeen in action during the 2-1 defeat of Dundee.

Another young Scottish right-back, Rangers’ Nathan Patterson, looks set to complete a Β£10m transfer to Premier League Everton.

The difference is Ramsay is getting a game for his club, Patterson is not.

Patterson probably has to exit to continue his development, but Ramsay doesn’t have to do that.

Ramsay’s level of quality and consistency deserve all the attention from clubs.

Right from his debut, there were signs he was going to be something special.

He seems a level-headed boy and I know the club will keep his feet on the ground.

Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay (22) during the defeat of Dundee on Boxing Day.

The legend of Sir Alex Ferguson

The statue of Sir Alex Ferguson will allow people to pay homage to the great man who led Aberdeen to European and domestic glory.

Aberdeen have confirmed the statue to Sir Alex will be unveiled at Pittodrie on Friday, February 25.

My former manager will be present at the official unveiling of the statue, which has been designed by sculptor Andy Edwards.

It is fantastic that Sir Alex’s phenomenal achievements are being celebrated.

Sir Alex Ferguson with the maquette for the statue to honour him. Supplied by Aberdeen FC

I applaud Aberdeen’s move to erect a statue, because what he achieved at the club was absolutely sensational.

Sir Alex turned the tables on Rangers and Celtic during his time at Pittodrie.

He led us to league titles, Scottish Cups and the League Cup

Not only did he lead us to the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983, we followed it up the same year by lifting the European Super Cup.

Not only that, but we beat European giants Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and SV Hamburg on the way to that double Euro triumph.

The statue is thoroughly deserved and good timing as well as Sir Alex recently celebrated his 80th birthday.

Recognition for what he achieved with Aberdeen has been a wee time coming, but he has that now.

The statue will be there for everyone to see and I am sure it will form part of the Pittodrie tour.