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Willie Miller: Signing Slobodan Rubezic and Liam Scales would deliver a strong Aberdeen defence

If the Dons cannot secure a permanent deal for Celtic defender Scales they should move for a season-long loan - just to get the 24-year-old back to Pittodrie.

Aberdeen FC's Liam Scales during a game against Ross County
Defender Liam Scales during the 1-0 defeat of Ross County while he was on loan at Aberdeen last season. Image: Shuttertock.

Aberdeen boss Barry Robson will have strong defensive options if he signs Serbian Slobodan Rubezic and Celtic’s Liam Scales.

The summer transfer window rebuild has already seen the arrival of Liverpool loan centre-back Rhys Williams along with right-backs Nicky Devlin and Or Dadia.

Centre-back Angus MacDonald also signed a two-year contract extension at the end of last season.

Aberdeen are now said to be closing in on a deal to sign centre-back Rubezic from Serbian club FK Novi Pazar.

The Dons will also hopefully secure the return of left-sided defender Scales to Pittodrie after a successful loan spell last season.

Serbian defender Slobodan Rubezic
Aberdeen signing target, Serbian defender Slobodan Rubezic. Image: FK Novi Pazar.

If Rubezic and Scales are secured, Robson will only need a left wing-back to complete his defensive rebuild.

However, Jonny Hayes and Jack MacKenzie can both play at left wing-back.

Adding Rubezic and Scales would make Aberdeen pretty strong defensively.

Depth at the back will be vital in the upcoming season, especially with the Dons set to battle on two fronts with European group stage action and domestic commitments.

The recent injuries suffered by centre-backs Williams and MacDonald underline the importance of having depth at the back.

Rhys Williams in action
Rhys Williams during a pre-season friendly between Turriff United and Aberdeen at The Haughs. Image: SNS.

Williams and MacDonald both face a battle to be fit for the first game of the season away to Livingston in the Premiership on Saturday, August 5.

Due to the absence of Williams and MacDonald, boss Robson had to field a makeshift back three in the 2-0 friendly loss at Preston North End.

Right back Devlin played in the middle of the back three alongside left-back MacKenzie and centre-back Jack Milne, who has limited first team experience with the Dons.

However, the new signings, and expected arrivals, will make Aberdeen’s defence strong in the new season.

Mads Frojkaer-Jensen celebrating a goal with Nicky Devlin between the goal posts behind him
Preston’s Mads Frojkaer-Jensen (R) celebrates making it 2-0 against Aberdeen with a frustrated Nicky Devlin in the background. Image: SNS.

I’m not surprised Robson has worked hard in the window to secure more defenders.

He knows that is an area vitally important to their hopes of success.

When Robson came into the job, the first thing he did was make Aberdeen much more difficult to be open up.

It tended to be a five at the back formation as well.

If you are playing that formation with three-centre backs, you must make sure there is real cover in those areas. And also real cover in the wing-back areas.

Securing Israeli international right-back Dadia on a season-long deal with an exclusive option to buy looks to be a good move by the Dons.

Or Dadia holding up his new Aberdeen shirt
New Aberdeen signing Or Dadia. Image: Aberdeen FC.

Dadia has a lot of experience and has played in the Europa League and Conference League group stages.

It looks as though Dadia has the quality required.

Serbian centre-back Rubezic also looks to be a powerful defender who can add to the Dons if signed.

Ideally, Aberdeen can secure the return of Celtic defender Scales this summer.

However, that is really down to circumstance with Celtic, the player and also the funds involved.

I think a permanent deal is always better than a loan, but at times you just have to take what circumstances throw at you.

Liam Scales in action
On-loan Aberdeen centre-back wins a header in the 1-0 defeat of Ross County. Image: Shutterstock.

Scales was a consistent performer last season as left centre-back in a back three.

He can also play left-back.

If Aberdeen could get him on a permanent deal that would be the preferred option.

But if circumstances don’t allow that then it shouldn’t be a barrier to taking him back to Pittodrie for another season.

Any loan deal though would have to be for the full season to avoid any uncertainty at the turn of the year in the January transfer window.

Either way, it would be good move to get Scales back to Aberdeen.

Liam Scales celebrating with fans in thee front row
Liam Scales celebrates scoring against Rangers with Aberdeen fans. Image: SNS.

Bojan Miovski’s return a major boost

Aberdeen boss Barry Robson will be delighted to see striker Bojan Miovski return to action during the pre-season friendlies.

The North Macedonian international came off the bench in the 2-0 loss to Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday.

It was Miovski’s first game time since suffering a nasty injury in the 3-0 defeat of St Mirren in May.

Unfortunately for Miovski, that ankle injury ruled the striker out of North Macedonia’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against England and Ukraine last month.

First aiders and other Aberdeen players gathered around Bojan Miovski lying at t side of the pitch after an injury
Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski lies injured after a bad challenge by St Mirren’s Thierry Small, who was then red carded. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

Miovski was a consistent performer and scorer for Aberdeen last season with 18 goals in all competitions.

The partnership he formed with Duk allowed the Dons to have a fruitful second half of the season.

When I watch Miovski play, it is clear he is an intelligent striker.

He likes to play on the shoulder and get into scoring positions.

There is no doubt he is a striker – Miovski is a goalscorer.

Duk is slightly different as he has other qualities.

Miovski is certainly a player Aberdeen will want fit for the beginning of the season.

Bojan Miovski and Calvin Ramsay in action during a friendly.
Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski (L) and Preston’s Calvin Ramsay during a pre-season friendly match. Image: SNS.

They will want his goalscoring prowess to be available from the outset.

Last season his goals were important and this season they are going to be vital as well.

Getting himself back in pre-season is important as he can build up that strength.

Playing in friendlies, with the Dons facing Charlton Athletic away on Saturday, will be important for Miovski ahead of the new campaign.

Calvin Ramsay clapping his hands on the pitch
Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski during the 2-0 pre-season friendly loss to Preston North End. Image: SNS

Huge season for former Don Ramsay

I was delighted to see former Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay make his Preston North End debut against Aberdeen.

The 19-year-old was introduced late in the second half against his former club.

Ramsay had faced a battle to be fit in time to face the Dons after working his way back from a knee injury.

This is a huge season for Ramsay as he went down to Liverpool with a lot of optimism last summer.

Breaking into the Liverpool first team is never going to be easy.

Unfortunately his first season at Anfield was troubled by injuries.

Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie and Preston's Calvin Ramsay hugging after a friendly
Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie (L) and Preston’s Calvin Ramsay at full-time after Saturday’s friendly. Image: SNS.

Your stock is not rising if you are not on the field of play as you cannot impress the manager.

Ramsay is young enough to put the last season of injuries behind him and has been sent to Preston on a season-long loan.

It was great to see Ramsay get a good reception from the Aberdeen fans at Deepdale.

He is a product of the Pittodrie youth development system.

There are two ways Aberdeen benefit from that – financially and getting time from the player on the pitch.

Ramsay secured a good transfer fee for Aberdeen, and they can use that to reinvest.

The important thing is that Ramsay gets himself back playing regularly.

He needs to get himself out there, performing to impress the Liverpool manager and scouts to hopefully get himself established at the Anfield club.

Calvin Ramsay in action for liverpool
Calvin Ramsay in action for Liverpool. Image: Shutterstock

It is not going to be easy, but he has the quality to be able to do that.

Ramsay has enough quality to be ambitious to be an established Scottish international players as well.

There was also a minute’s applause before the Preston game for Scottish football legend Craig Brown, who sadly passed away recently,

Craig managed both Aberdeen and Preston.

There is a memorial service for Craig in Ayr today.

Craig was a huge name in Scottish football over the decades as a coach at the SFA level, international manager and club manager.

He was also an ambassador at Aberdeen.

There will be a strong contingent down from the club itself.

I will be going down to say farewell to Craig.

Willie Miller and Craig Brown on a white chesterfield sofa with microphones
Willie Miller (l) and Craig Brown (r) at a festival of sport discussion in 2019. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.

It will be a large event and the attendance will be quite substantial.

It will be a way to say farewell to someone who has been so important to Scottish football over many decades.