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Aberdeen boost as Connor Barron set to return for New Firm derby next weekend

Connor Barron during pre-season training at Cormack Park.
Aberdeen midfielder Connor Barron is set to return to action from long term injury.

Aberdeen midfielder Connor Barron is set to return from a four month injury nightmare in next weekend’s New Firm derby.

Boss Jim Goodwin confirmed the 20-year-old is back training and on course to face Dundee United at Tannadice (6pm) next Saturday.

The home clash with Kilmarnock this weekend will come too soon for Barron.

Goodwin hailed the imminent return of the Scotland U21 international as a “huge plus to everyone.”

Barron has been sidelined for the whole of the campaign so far having suffered a knee injury during a pre-season friendly.

The midfielder was Aberdeen’s stand-out player in the second half of last season having only made his first team debut in January.

Such was his impact Barron was shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award last season.

Midfielder Connor Barron has returned to training.

Goodwin said: “Connor has trained with the group this week but Saturday will come too soon.

“We would like to think that we will have him in the squad for the Dundee United game which is a huge plus to everyone.”

Teenage midfielder Connor Barron has yet to play this season due to injury.

Contract talks ongoing with Barron

Barron suffered the knee injury in a 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat of Highland League Buckie Thistle on June 25.

Aberdeen are currently locked in contract talks with Barron in a bid to tie the midfielder to a longer deal.

Barron signed a contract extension in January until summer 2024.

Celtic, Premier League Brentford and Belgian club Genk have all been linked with the playmaker.

Aberdeen teenager Connor Barron (L) and Ross McCrorie during training in pre-seaaon.

Goodwin views Barron as a key part of his bid to secure success in the future and wants his long term future secured.

Meanwhile, former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes, now Kilmarnock boss, will return to Pittodrie on Saturday for the first time since being axed in March last year.

Aberdeen will be without centre-back Liam Scales and attacking midfielder Leighton Clarkson who are both suspended.

Internationals return unscathed

Goodwin faced a potential injury sweat with four players away on senior international duty during the recent break.

Striker Bojan Miovski, 23. started UEFA Nations League games for North Macedonia against Georgia (2-0 loss) and Bulgaria (1-0 loss).

Midfilder Ylber Ramadani, 26, was introduced as a second half substitute for Albania in the 2-1 Nations League loss to Israel.

He then started 1-1 draw away to Iceland in the Nations League.

Defender Liam Scales, 24.  was a late call up to the Republic of Ireland squad.

Centre-back Scales did not make the bench for the loss to Scotland (2-1) but was an unused substitute in the victory against Armenia (3-2).

Striker Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes, 22,started for Cape Verde in a 2-1 friendly win away to Bahrain.

Goodwin admits there is always a concern that players on international duty can pick up injuries.

He confirmed they all returned to Pittodrie with a clean bill of health.

Goodwin said: “The boys who were all away have come back injury-free.

“That is always the concern for any manager.

“However we had a full room back together this morning.

“You are delighted for the guys getting international recognition but you are always concerned with the games, volume of games and lack of rest.

“However they have all come back in good shape and are all good to go this weekend.”

Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski celebrates after he scored a penalty against Livingston.

Aberdeen ‘recharging batteries’

Teenage midfielder Ryan Duncan was also on international duty with the Scotland U19 squad at the Slovenia Nations Cup.

Aberdeen have also opened contract talks with Duncan, 18, who is tied to the club until summer 2024.

With two weeks between the 3-1 loss at Hibs and the clash with Kilmarnock this weekend offered an opportunity to ‘recharge batteries’ for those not on international duty.

Aberdeen’s Luis Lopes celebrates making it 1-0 against Hibs.

He said: “We have a number of guys who are quite far from home and don’t often get to see their families.

“Wee Vinny (Vicente Besuijen) is based in Holland and Dante Polvara in America.

“So we managed to look after a few of the boys with regard to giving them some extra time.

“We had a consistent group of 12 or 13 last week and they have been good.

“Those who weren’t on international duty enjoyed the time with their family and it was an opportunity to recharge the batteries.

“We have a busy period of games prior to the break for the World Cup which we want to go into on a positive.

“That starts from the offset against Kilmarnock.”

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin has been charged by the SFA for recent comments about Hibs defender Ryan Porteous.

Livingston away date change

Meanwhile Aberdeen’s Premiership clash away to Livingston scheduled for Wednesday November 9 (7.45pm) has been moved forward 24 hours.

The Dons will now face Livingston away on Tuesday, November 8 (7.45pm).

The fixture change was made at the request of both clubs.