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ANALYSIS: Need for another striker at Aberdeen is clear to see – but it hasn’t been addressed

Dons boss Stephen Glass, centre, with coaches Allan Russell, left, and Henry Apaloo, right
Dons boss Stephen Glass, centre, with coaches Allan Russell, left, and Henry Apaloo, right

With deadline day now over, Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass’ first January window has left Dons fans with more questions than answers.

It was only six weeks ago the Dons boss signalled his intention to ensure the Dons emerged from this window stronger at its close than they were when it opened.

Whether that has turned out to be the case is a matter for debate.

No striking reinforcements?

The need for another striker has been clear for all to see.

Which is why the decision to let three attacking players in veteran Niall McGinn, Ryan Hedges and Austin Samuels leave the club is so perplexing.

As three forward options have departed, not to mention the continued absence of Marley Watkins for all of February, Aberdeen have been left with slim pickings behind Christian Ramirez.

Christian Ramirez will be vital for the Dons in the second half of the season

Put it this way, Dons fans will be keeping their fingers crossed the American striker can make it to the end of the season unscathed.

Right now it is hard to shake the impression the Dons are one injury away – heaven forbid – from a full-blown attacking crisis.

Lack of consistent scorers a concern

Ramirez is the club’s leading goalscorer, closely followed by Lewis Ferguson.

With Hedges sold to Blackburn on Sunday and Watkins on the sidelines, the best of the rest tag is shared by Scott Brown and Teddy Jenks, who have two goals apiece.

The other attacking options of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Jonny Hayes and Connor McLennan have one goal each.

Hayes can at least offer the mitigating circumstance of having been deployed at left-back for a large portion of the campaign.

You can be sure the search for a striker has been a priority and no doubt the failure to land another attacking player has not been for the want of trying, but to say Aberdeen are a little light up top is an early contender for the understatement of 2022.

As the Dons head for Dingwall to play Ross County, they do so with Vicente Besjuijen poised to make his debut following his move from ADO Den Haag and Matty Kennedy, with 12 minutes of game time under his belt this season, as the only other options available.

New signing Vicente Besuijen of ADO Den Haag against Miguel Angel Leal of ADO Groningen

Kennedy, who was on the verge of joining St Mirren in August, finds himself with an opportunity to show he does have a future at Pittodrie.

Two out, one in and a new contract in defence

Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay has stayed at Pittodrie

It may not feel like it, but it is not all doom and gloom at the club with Calvin Ramsay still at the club after the club resisted decent money from Bologna for their star right-back, while some funds have been recuperated by the sale of Ronald Hernandez to Atlanta United.

Given the Venezuelan international’s spectacular failure to make an impact in Scotland, having any proceeds at all to add to the kitty is cause for celebration.

Talking of missteps, Matty Longstaff and Jack Gurr have also moved on. Longstaff, a Newcastle United prospect, made zero impact on loan.

Gurr, the defensive cover for Ramsay, fared little better with his 10 minutes of madness in the League Cup exit at Raith Rovers what Aberdeen fans will remember as his contribution to the cause.

The cover behind Ramsay is now Funso Ojo or, at a push, Mikey Devlin, whose short-term deal has been extended until the end of the season.

We wish Devlin well in his latest bid to get back to first team action, but it does seem another area where the Dons are thin on the ground.

One player who could have benefited from a loan is Dean Campbell.

Dean Campbell

He has been used sparingly this season and last week found himself deployed at left back in the 1-0 loss at St Mirren due to injuries.

The wait continues to see Aberdeen’s first January recruit – Dante Polvara – in action after he underwent minor surgery, but it would seem the fact he is set for a few weeks on the sidelines has resulted in the window closing and Campbell remaining with his team-mates.

Midfielder Dante Polvara stars for Georgetown University. Supplied by Georgetown University Athletics Date; Unknown

Deadline day bonanza did not materialise

On a day where Aberdeen fans were dreaming of attacking reinforcements, the arrival of the left-sided Adam Montgomery on loan from Celtic – someone who could limit Campbell’s game time further – was not the deadline day deal any would have been looking for.

The 19-year-old’s arrival gives Jack MacKenzie competition and will likely lead to Jonny Hayes reverting to the swashbuckling winger of old.

We can but hope as Aberdeen’s attacking third is in some dire need of fresh impetus.

There’s no getting away from it – right now it all seems so underwhelming from an Aberdeen viewpoint.

Six have gone, three have arrived but the same problems remain. In terms of the forward line, the case can be made the issues have worsened.

Time will tell, but it seems a tall order to pin a revival in the second half of the campaign on a 19-year-old full-back/winger, and an untested 20- and 21-year-old further forward.

But here we are.

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