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Dave Cormack insists Aberdeen will get recruitment right with Dons legends Steve Archibald and Theo Snelders playing their part to help land transfer targets

Vicente Besuijen joined the Dons from ADO Den Haag in January.
Vicente Besuijen joined the Dons from ADO Den Haag in January.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack believes the Dons will get their recruitment right this summer.

The Dons have endured a difficult campaign and find themselves in the bottom six for the first time since 2013.

Cormack says new Dons boss Jim Goodwin is working overtime with his head of recruitment Darren Mowbray and the club’s director of football Steven Gunn to ensure the squad is stronger next season.

In an interview with Red TV, he said: “One of the first things Darren has done since arriving in September is he has been to Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. He has been to Holland six times or more.

“He is giving us a perspective on the quality there versus the Scottish league and the type of players that may translate.

“If it was not for Steven Gunn and Darren Mowbray we would not have had Vicente Besuijen.

“We invested 500,000 euros in Vicente as a 20-year-old player with a significant future on a four-and-a-half year deal.

“The amount of data that is available is incredible.

“I’m pretty curious about how we improve things in Aberdeen.

“Steven Gunn has set about talking to the top people in Europe.

“We are talking to a top Serie A team because they have 40 players out on loan.

“There are players who won’t fit the Scottish style but some players might.”


Aberdeen director of football Steven Gunn.

The Dons chairman revealed two Dons legends are playing a role in helping attract new talent to Pittodrie.

He said: “We continue to chat with Stevie Archibald about potential players in Spain who could come to Aberdeen.

“Rather than just looking at England, we are looking across Europe.

“We are planning for another full-time scout to work for Darren.

“We go into this summer strongly.

“Yesterday we got a text from Theo Snelders.

“There is a player we really like in Holland and this player is friends with Theo’s son and the boy went to Theo’s house to ask him about Aberdeen.

“One of the reasons we got Vicente versus other clubs who were interested, such as Hibs, was because of our Dutch connections that we were able to illustrate through our history of Dutch players coming in and doing well.

Former Dons goalkeeper Theo Snelders

“Jim Goodwin has final say on players coming and going.

“In the last few weeks, Jim, Steven Gunn and Darren Mowbray have been on Zoom calls most nights with players on their own and with their agents.

“At Barcelona, Real Madrid and Man United there might be 30-50 players in the world who can make a difference for them.

“For us there is about 2,500 players.

“Now we are looking in Europe and Atlanta’s ability to tap into South America means we are going broad as well as deep when we see opportunity.”

The Dons received criticism for failing to recruit a striker during the January transfer window to bolster an attack that has relied heavily on Christian Ramirez this season.

But Cormack said the Dons refused to bring in players who were not a right fit for the club.

He said: “Going back to January, we did have money available for a striker but no quality came our way and the decision was made to keep our powder dry until the summer.

“The January window is the toughest window to bring in players.

“We made a decision to go for quality, not quantity.

“Go back to the previous January and three strikers came in at a significant investment on the last day of the window and scored three goals between them.

“We came out of that window with Calvin Ramsay and Lewis Ferguson still here.

“We could have moved those players on should we wanted to.”

Calvin Ramsay remained with the Dons despite being linked with several clubs in January.

Cormack says the Dons are eager to learn the lessons from clubs across Europe who have made a success of selling on talented young players for substantial fees.

He added: “I have spoken to some of the best clubs around Europe who punch above their weight.

“They say the best thing is to have an environment in place where you have a director of football, a head of recruitment and you bring in a manager, whether that is a Stephen Glass or a Jim Goodwin.

“Both of those guys 100 per cent bought into the strategy of playing attacking, entertaining football that wins.

“Winning is critical and it hasn’t happened this season.

“Let’s give the academy players the opportunity to come through and give them game time.

“Let’s invest in players where there is a good chance they are with us for three or four seasons and we can monetise that.

“The only way Aberdeen can be spending £2m or £3m more per year on wages is if we are monetising that through player sales.

“Look at Sevilla, Villarreal or teams in Scandinavia how they actually do that.

“We want to be in a position to set a high-level of strategy where we are playing attacking and entertaining football.”

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