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ANALYSIS: What would speedy winger Shayden Morris bring to Aberdeen?

Shayden Morris Aberdeen
Shayden Morris' pace is his biggest asset.

Shayden Morris is the latest name to be added to Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin’s list of potential targets but just what would the Fleetwood Town winger bring to the Dons?

The short answer is pace – and lots of it.

The 20-year-old, who joined Fleetwood Town’s academy from Southend United on a two-year scholarship in 2018, signed his first professional contract with Town in July 2020.

Within six months the deal was extended by a year to the summer of 2023.

Morris, who plays on the right wing, made his first team debut as a substitute in the EFL Trophy against Liverpool’s under-21 side in September 2019. He went on to make a further eight appearances, four in the EFL Trophy and four in League One.

He established himself in the Town squad last season, making 26 appearances for the club in League One, 13 of which came in the starting 11.

His first goal for the club was the winner in a 3-2 victory against Cheltenham Town in August 21 last year and it signalled the confidence of the player after featuring in all five of his club’s opening matches.

Shayden Morris Aberdeen
Shayden Morris in action. Picture by Shutterstock

A foot injury derailed that promising opening to the campaign and Morris showed his qualities upon his return to first team duty.

It is his second goal which perhaps sums up what Morris can offer to a team.

He grabbed the final goal in a 3-3 draw with Wycombe in October 30, picking up the ball inside the Wycombe half before driving past the full back and firing low into the net to secure his side a point.

Fast forward to the 1min 30sec mark and see for yourself:

Morris wants to be a creator and scorer

In a nutshell that is what Morris brings to the cause and he was thrilled to repay the supporters who chanted his name as he came off the bench to score.

He told the Blackpool Gazette: “I’m buzzing with that one. I wasn’t expecting that sort of reception when I came on.

“It’s been tough on the sidelines and up in the stands watching the games, so to come back and do that straight away was a great feeling.

“The fans cheering my name is something I’ve dreamed of and the reception was an amazing feeling.

Shayden Morris Aberdeen
Fleetwood Town winger Shayden Morris in action against Sunderland.

“And that gives me confidence when I get the ball, knowing the players are behind me and the fans are too.

“So I thought I can do anything with the ball.

“The first time I got the ball I got a cross in, so second time I thought I’d just go for it and it came off. I was so happy with that one.

“Watching is so tough, so being out there is the best feeling ever.

“I know that I can score goals from the wing as well as getting the assists, so I just go for it.

“Obviously I can do it in training but I want to do it out there.

Former Fleetwood head coach Simon Grayson was thrilled to have the Londoner back in the team, having labelled Morris as ‘on fire’ at the start of the season.

Morris offers a threat down the right wing

While his statistics may not show a winger in the traditional sense of driving to the line and whipping in crosses it does show a player happy to run at opposition players and commit them.

Shayden Morris’ passes. Supplied by Opta

While a player such as Matty Kennedy for example has contributed four assists in his time at Pittodrie, Morris is yet to get off the mark.

But it should not be forgotten Morris, despite having played just 1462 competitive minutes for Fleetwood, is a player who gets supporters off their seats in anticipation when he is on the ball.

A cult favourite among the Cod Army, Morris has a 27.7% dribbling success rate from his 83 dribbles attempted and his passing accuracy is a healthy 65.7%.

Shayden Morris’ expected goals. Supplied by Opta

Whether his undoubted raw talent will be realised is the question Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin must consider and if Fleetwood’s demand for £500,000 is accurate it would represent another significant investment from the Dons this summer.

But, in terms of Aberdeen’s strategy of investing and then selling on young talent, Morris’ potential upside may just be a calculated risk worth taking.