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Joe Harper: Aberdeen recruitment team delivering the goods this summer

Luis Lopes in action for Benfica.
Luis Lopes in action for Benfica.

Aberdeen’s recruitment team and manager Jim Goodwin deserve real credit for the summer signings secured so far.

The Reds have scoured Europe for top talent and Benfica striker Luis Lopes is set to be the seventh addition of a summer rebuild.

From the footage I have seen of the centre-forward, Lopes looks to be a good player who can deliver goals.

He has had a strong footballing education at the Portuguese giants, having starred for the Benfica B and under-23 teams.

That is the same education as Celtic’s Jota, who also came through the ranks at Benfica.

At 22 years old, Lopes is the right age to sign a young talent.

Hopefully he will add another positive. goalscoring option to manager Jim Goodwin’s attack this season.

Lopes will be the third signing the Dons have secured from overseas this summer and they are all high quality.

Aberdeen head of recruitment Darren Mowbray has visited 16 countries in the search for signings since Goodwin was appointed boss in February.

Racking up the miles has clearly paid off as the Reds have also secured Bojan Miovski and Ylber Ramadani from MTK Budapest.

Aberdeen’s Ylber Ramadani made his debut in the Premier Sports Cup clash with Dumbarton.

Aberdeen fans finally got to see Albanian international Ramadani when he made his delayed debut in the 2-0 defeat of Dumbarton.

He signed way back on June 8, but the Red Army had to wait five weeks to see him in action due to the drawn out Visa application process.

Was he worth the wait? Oh yes!

Ramadani was very impressive on his debut, despite having only had two training sessions with the Dons prior to the Dumbarton clash.

He got stuck in, was very composed and can also play.

On his debut, Ramadani also pitched in with an assist for Matty Kennedy’s goal.

Ramadani is a quality player, that is clear.

I am also excited to see what Ramadani’s former team-mate at MTK Budapset, Miovski, can bring in the attack.

Miovski is a North Macedonian international and was targeted by clubs in Hungary, Russia, Belgium and Switzerland.

However, the Dons won the battle to sign Miovski.

Aberdeen’s Ylber Ramadani during the 2-0 Premier Sports Cup defeat of Dumbarton.

Aberdeen are hopeful Miovski’s Visa will be processed to allow him to fly into the Granite City next week. I can’t wait to see him in action.

The new signings who have played in the Premier Sports Cup games have all done well.

On-loan Celtic centre-back Liam Scales has been very good so far.

New captain Anthony Stewart is also powerful, tough and has forged a solid partnership with Scales at centre-back.

Hopefully the Dons can secure Scales on a permanent contract in January.

Ross McCrorie puts Aberdeen 1-0 up during a Premier Sports Cup match against Dumbarton.

Aberdeen have racked up back-to-back clean sheets in the two opening games of the season.

Obviously, they were against lower league opposition and there will be far sterner challenges when the Premiership campaign begins.

But the defence is already looking more solid than last season.

Right-back Jayden Richardson is lightning fast and will cause problems to opponents in attack.

New keeper Kelle Roos also looks impressive and Joe Lewis could face a real battle on his hands to get the No.1 slot back.

Aberdeen youngster Ryan Duncan in action in the 2-0 defeat of Dumbarton.

The summer rebuild, which is not over yet, has left me genuinely excited about this season.

I am very upbeat about what the new-look Aberdeen team can deliver under manager Jim Goodwin.

Aberdeen look like they will be ready to make an impact when the Premiership season starts against champions Celtic at Parkhead on July 31.

Lewis Ferguson can shine in Italy

Former Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson has the quality to be a real success in Italy with Bologna.

The Scotland international transferred to the Serie A club from Pittodrie in a £3 million move earlier this week.

Ferguson also has the full-blooded, committed personality which will be embraced by Bologna supporters.

At 22, this is the ideal time for Ferguson to try a new country and style of football.

It is a brave move and one that I am confident will pay off for the midfielder.

Ferguson is not scared to push forward and can score goals.

Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson celebrates after he makes it 1-0 against Rangers in the League Cup semi-final.

Aaron Hickey was a huge success at Bologna following his £1.5m transfer from Hearts in 2020.

In just two years, he has won an £18m transfer to English Premier League Brentford.

There is no reason why Ferguson cannot be a similar success in the Italian top-flight.

He earned this glamour move after four impressive seasons at Aberdeen.

Last May, he suffered the setback of having a £2m bid by then-Premier League Watford rejected by Aberdeen.

That prompted him to put in a transfer request, which was also rejected.

Despite that, he buckled down and gave his all for the Dons.

He finished last season as top scorer on 16 goals and made his international breakthrough.

Ferguson did a great job for Aberdeen and I wish him all the best with his Italian move.

Reds must continue momentum at Stirling

Aberdeen need to continue their winning start to the season with another victory at Stirling Albion on Tuesday evening.

The Premier Sports Cup group stage is new territory for the Dons.

They had previously avoided this early stage since the tournament’s revamp due to being in European action.

Ross McCrorie celebrates his goal to put Aberdeen 1-0 against Dumbarton.

What has impressed me about the Dons is they have treated their League Cup group with the respect it deserves.

They are not games to get ready for the Premiership campaign – the Premier Sports Cup offers a chance of silverware and the Reds have treated it like that from the offset.