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ANALYSIS: As Aberdeen sweat in Spain the heat is on new signings to make immediate impact

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin at the club's Spanish training camp (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)
Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin at the club's Spanish training camp (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

Aberdeen have splashed the cash this summer and the pressure will be on the new signings to deliver quickly.

The Dons board have bank-rolled boss Jim Goodwin’s squad reconstruction by sanctioning almost £1 million in transfer fees.

A squad that are currently sweating it out at Spanish training camp in Costa Blanca has Costa lot.

The heat will be on the new additions, and manager Goodwin, to deliver payback for the significant outlay.

What would be payback? Securing European qualification via a high Premiership finish at the end of the upcoming season.

And pushing for silverware to deliver a first trophy since the League Cup in 2014.

Aberdeen have paid transfer fees for three players in a much needed rebuild that has delivered six new signings – with more to come.

Aberdeen training in Spain.(Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

Transfer fees were paid for Bojan Miovski (£535,000, MTK Budapest), Ylber Ramadani (£100,000, MTK Budapest ) and Jayden Richardson (£300,000, Nottingham Forest).

Aberdeen boss Goodwin recently confirmed the board would have sanctioned the transfer fees even if the club didn’t sell Calvin Ramsay to Liverpool.

Ramsay, 18, signed for the Euro giants in a £4.5m deal that could be worth up to £8m with future add-ons should Ramsay meet landmarks with Liverpool.

The willingness of chairman Dave Cormack and the board to provide a war chest regardless of Ramsay’s exit is a significant show of faith in Goodwin.

New signings arrive Kelle Roos (L) and Anthony Stewart (R) at the Dons’ Spanish base. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

An extensive, and expensive, overhaul was needed because the Aberdeen squad last season was simply not good enough.

A team with the budget and stature of Aberdeen should never be anywhere near the bottom six of the Premiership.

To ensure last season was an aberration the board have invested heavily in a rebuild.

It is imperative Aberdeen begin the campaign with a bang in the Premier Sports Cup.

These group games should not be treated as part of the preparation for the Premiership opener against Celtic on July 31.

The Premier Sports Cup offers an early opportunity for the reconstructed squad to lay down an early mark of intent for the season.

Anthony Stewart working hard during training in Spain (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

It also offers, more importantly,  a chance to lift silverware.

Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes delivered the League Cup in his first full season in charge.

That trophy was the catalyst for seven years of successive European qualification.

A successful Premier Sports Cup campaign could also be the launch pad for Goodwin’s new-look Dons squad.

Two of the summer signings, Miovski and Ramadani, both came from an MTK Budapest side that were relegated from the Hungarian top flight.

However Miovski and Ramadani were understood to have been the two shining lights in a relegated squad.

I have heard it on authority that Albanian international midfielder Ramadani never gave up and tried to drive the team on even when relegation looked inevitable.

Macedonian international striker Miovski netted 10 times in 31 games in all competitions last season in a team that were struggling badly.

Imagine what he can do at Aberdeen if the squad click and hit form.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin at the squad’s Spanish training camp. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

The 23-year-old also featured in North Macedonia’s shock 1-0 World Cup play-off semi-final defeat of Euro 2020 champions Italy.

New Don Miovski won the flick-on that set up Aleksandar Trajkovski to score the winner against Italy.

Aberdeen beat off competition from clubs in Hungary, Belgium, Russia, Poland and Switzerland to land Miovski.

Expectation and pressure to deliver success should be embedded into the foundations at Pittodrie.

That the club failed so miserably to deliver last season has been addressed to the tune of almost £1m.

Goodwin also wielded the axe with 14 players from that underperforming squad moving on.

The new Dons, expensively built for a team outside of Rangers and Celtic, must deliver.

There can be no repeat of the disastrous 2021-22 season.

Pittodrie’s board have done their bit by bankrolling a rebuild to ensure the side get back on track.

Now the baton has been passed on to Goodwin and his new signings to deliver.

Aberdeen Manager Jim Goodwin during training at the Spanish camp. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

Aberdeen sweating it out in Spain

Aberdeen are being put through their paces in Spain by manager Jim Goodwin at their warm weather training camp.

The mercury is hitting 30 degrees out here in Costa Blanca – with hardly a breath of wind.

This really is factor 50 weather – especially as I have a fair complexion and a bald heid.

A cloudless blue sky, balmy temperatures and idyllic location – it is night and day to playing in the Premiership in the harsh Scottish winter in December and January.

Aberdeen players are put through their paces under the sun in Spain. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

However Spain is where the hard work will go in to ensure the Reds are ready not just to hit the ground running in the new season – but also throughout the entire campaign.

The graft under the sun in Spain will pay off in the sleet and snow in the bleak winter.

However the camp is not only about hard work and sweat.

Boss Goodwin is also using the time in Spain to work on tactics for the upcoming season.

With up to three sessions daily Goodwin will hone his tactical blueprint with the squad on the Costa Blanca.

Aberdeen are based at the five star La Finca resort.

Clubs including Barcelona have trained here previously. It was also used by the Scotland squad last summer as part of the preparations for Euro 2020.

Beaten 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia have also trained at the La Finca Resort.

It is a stunning complex that also boasts three golf courses and an elite performance gym.

This is the Dons’ first overseas training camp since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Aberdeen’s squad has undergone a major overhaul during the summer and Spain offers an opportunity for the squad to gel.

Lewis Ferguson in front at a training session in Spain.<br />(Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

Hands off the Premier Sports Cup

Suggestions from UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin that countries should ditch their third cup competitions are ridiculous.

Ceferin believes countries should scrap their third cup competitions to ease fixture congestion.

Not a chance. The Premier Sports Cup is embedded in Scottish football and offers a chance for clubs outside of big spending Celtic and Rangers to secure success.

Here’s a suggestion. To ease fixture congestion UEFA should look to cut down on the Nations League games that effectively eradicated the summer break for many players.

Players are in danger of being burnt out and it has nothing to do with a third cup competition.