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Richard Gordon: Aberdeen boss Jimmy Thelin will be eager to make signings in time for pre-season

Aberdeen's new Swedish manager Thelin will have a shopping list, including some players he has previously managed, and will want them in soon.

Jimmy Thelin during an Elfsborg match. Image: Alamy Live News.
Jimmy Thelin during an Elfsborg match. Image: Alamy Live News.

Scottish football has entered that holding pattern between seasons where the dust is still settling from the campaign just ended, and the teams have not quite got up and running with full-on preparation for the new one.

While the summer has got considerably shorter in the time I have been following the game, the hiatus is nonetheless welcome as everyone recharges the batteries a little before the mayhem and madness kicks off again.

That said, there is plenty news around, and some faint stirrings in the transfer market – albeit it much of that right now of a speculative nature.

Aberdeen fans will be eager for any early signs from the new manager Jimmy Thelin, and while he is taking a well-earned break having just finished off with Elfsborg, I have no doubt the Swede will be pulling his plans together.

His first task will be to assess the current playing squad.

Jimmy will have monitored all the games since his appointment was announced, and I would expect he has had conversations with Peter Leven to get a handle on what he has at his disposal.

He will, however, be unable to make any proper assessment until he has seen the boys in the flesh, initially in training, and then in the pre-season warm-up matches.

Aberdeen will soon be back in training. Image: SNS.

Even then, he will not be fully appraised of their qualities – that will come only when he watches them in competitive action.

By that point, he will already have added to the group.

There can be no question Jimmy will have a shopping list of players he has either previously managed or come up against, and he will, I assume, want a few of those in sooner rather than later.

How busy he plans to be will also depend on whether there are further departures.

A number have already left following the expiry of their contracts, but others, Bojan Miovski being the most obvious, are on the radar of bigger, wealthier clubs, and Jimmy will have to be poised with a list of preferred replacements should those bids materialise.

The last few months of 2023-24 saw the team finally show their potential on a more consistent basis, and I would hope the players can kick-on and build on that. Having a new gaffer to impress should certainly act as a major incentive to do so.

Within a fortnight, Aberdeen, like all the other clubs, will have embarked on pre-season training, and by then I would anticipate having seen much more activity in the transfer market across the board.

Genuine concern for future of Caley Thistle

One club who will have to hold off are Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The last few weeks have been among the most turbulent in their three-decades-long history – relegation back to the third tier followed swiftly by the shambolic Kelty proposal and the departures of chairman Ross Morrison and chief executive Scot Gardiner.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Duncan Ferguson, centre, alongside departed chairman Ross Morrison, right, and departing chief executive Scot Gardiner. Image: SNS.

On top of that came the news on Wednesday, unless new investment is found, Caley Thistle will have to consider going into administration.

The only positive has been the suspension of the move to Fife, but these are clearly worrying times, and there has to be genuine concern for the future of the club.

Scotland will have to be at their best to get out of Euros group

This time next week, Euro 2024 will be up and running, and Scotland will have played the hosts in the tournament opener.

It is clearly an exciting prospect, but at this stage it is difficult to predict how the finals will go for Steve Clarke’s side.

Results over the past nine months have been less impressive than previously, but that is largely irrelevant, and our chances of making the knock-out stages for the first time will rely entirely on how the team performs in Germany.

Tommy Conway during a Scotland MD-1 open training session at Hampden Park, on June 6, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. Image: SNS.

The additions of striker Tommy Conway and wide player Lewis Morgan, following injuries to Lyndon Dykes and Ben Doak, added some freshness to the group, and the other two cut from the original party – goalkeeper Craig Gordon and centre-back John Souttar – made sense given the depth we have in those positions.

It is by no means the toughest section the Scots have had to negotiate, but history weighs heavily, and I feel the players will have to peak if we are to make it through.