Aberdeen are right to explore the huge United States market because they can unearth hidden gems.
Hopefully recent acquisition Dante Polvara is one of those gems after signing on at Pittodrie until summer 2024.
It is a real positive the Dons are looking across the Atlantic to the US for talent.
Broadening the horizons with another area to investigate can only help the Dons.
With the connections manager Stephen Glass and chairman Dave Cormack have with the US, it was inevitable they would look there.
Glass was manager of Atlanta United 2 and also interim boss of Atlanta prior to taking on the Reds job last March.
He will have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of US football.
Chairman Cormack is also based in the States.
When you add in Aberdeen’s strategic partnership with MLS side Atlanta United, the ability to unearth talent across the Atlantic is clear.
It is good business for Aberdeen to investigate that market.
The US market it huge and is developing many, many good players.
Aberdeen swooped on that exciting talent pool to make midfielder Polvara the first signing of the January transfer window.
I have seen videos of Polvara and on the basis of those he looks to be a very good signing.
However, I’m always a little bit wary of videos showing players in action.
I have seen so many of them over the years and obviously they only focus on the highlights of a player’s career to date.
Yet only last week the 21-year-old was named the 2021 MAC Hermann Trophy winner for being the best player in the college system.
The six-foot-four midfielder is also a two-time All-American and two-time Big East midfielder of the year.
While at the New York City Academy, he played in two national championship-winning teams.
So the talent and potential certainly look to be there,
From the footage I have seen, Polvara looks to be a tall, powerful midfielder who can pick out a pass and also score.
Manager Glass knows the standard Polvara has been playing at.
He will know exactly what to expect from the new signing who is still relatively young.
Polvara is 21 and, although not a novice, is still at an age where he can develop to the level Aberdeen are at.
If Aberdeen can get good use of him on the pitch and then go on to capitalise financially that would be an added bonus.
Ultimately, though, when you are taking a player who has been developed to a certain point, you are looking at delivering minutes on the pitch.
— Georgetown Men’s Soccer (@GUHoyasMSoccer) January 8, 2022
Anything above that, such as selling a player on for a big fee, is a bonus.
It looks like a positive move by Aberdeen to sign a player who seems to have the potential to have a bright future.
The chairman and the manager will be immersed in American football and know the players and the standard.
To have that knowledge and contacts makes it so much easier in taking the step towards offering players contracts to come across from the States.
🆕 | We are delighted to announce the signing of Elite American College Player, Dante Polvara on a two and a half year deal.
🇺🇸 Welcome to The Dons, Dante!
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) January 8, 2022
Polvara has also said he wants to develop at Aberdeen and rejected other opportunities in the MLS and Europe.
Aberdeen moved into the US market last summer when signing Christian Ramirez from Houston Dynamo.
Striker Ramirez has been a success and has netted 11 goals in all competitions so far this season.
Hopefully Polvara can break into the first team and repay the faith the manager and chairman have shown in bringing him to Pittodrie.
Loan deals unpredictable but vital
The unpredictability of loan deals has been underlined by the three players taken in from the English Premier League in the summer.
Aberdeen look set to retain Brighton and Hove Albion teenage midfielder Teddy Jenks until the end of the season.
That is a positive, because Jenks was beginning to get more game time.
He also pitched in with two goals including the late winner against St Johnstone last month.
However, the other two have had their season-long loan deals cut short and returned to their parent clubs.
Midfielder Matty Longstaff arrived from Newcastle United having started and scored in the English top flight.
However, he failed to get regular game time. Likewise, Austin Samuels, who has returned to Wolves, also struggled to get regular action.
There is no point bringing a player in on loan if he is not going to play.
The whole idea is for the player coming in on loan to get minutes.
At least Jenks has had game time and pitched in with two goals.
As Longstaff and Samuels were not playing, they are better going back at their parent clubs.
Then they can be loaned out to another club where they can get a regular game.
Aberdeen want to take advantage of the loan system to bulk out their squad.
However, there is another key reason for a player going on loan – to play.
If that’s not happening then it is no use to the player, his parent club or Aberdeen.
You are always going to take gambles with loan players.
Some work, some don’t – as we have seen with Samuels, Longstaff and Jenks.
Although loans can be unpredictable, they should not be discounted.
Loan deals still play a big part in most Scottish clubs’ armoury.
Hopes that fan restrictions are lifted
Hopefully Aberdeen will be able to face Rangers at Pittodrie on Tuesday, January 18 in front of an unrestricted crowd.
The current restrictions limiting football crowds to 500 are set to be reviewed by the Scottish Government the day before the Rangers game.
People were asked to get double vaccinated and boosted and the vast majority of football supporters have done that.
I thought the whole point of getting double double vaccinated and a booster jab was to allow freedom. The freedom to do things such as go to football matches.
I think the vast majority of the general public assumed that as well.
It is a real disappointment to have most fans locked out again with just 500 fans inside Pittodrie for the 2-1 Boxing Day defeat of Dundee.
I sincerely hope that crowds can be opened up again since the vast majority of the population have followed the advice of the government.
Hopefully our general way of life can be opened up again now that they have more information on the new variant and the majority of people have been double vaccinated and boosted.
Aberdeen’s supporters have been magnificent during the two years of the pandemic and deserve some good news.
Hopefully positive news comes shortly.
Aberdeen games against Rangers are always exciting games and the fans play a huge role in that.
Ideally Aberdeen fans will be back in force for the Rangers game and also have the bragging rights at the end of it.