Departing Aberdeen favourite Kenny McLean has no worries about the future of the club as long as Derek McInnes is in charge.
McLean is heading for English Championship side Norwich City amid another summer of rebuilding for McInnes but he has confidence in the Dons boss to replace the quality he loses.
Loan players Ryan Christie, Greg Stewart, Chidi Nwakali, Dominic Ball, Freddie Woodman – as well as McLean – have all headed back to their parent clubs, while Anthony O’Connor is out of contract, Nicky Maynard has been released and Kari Arnason has joined Vikingur in Iceland.
Summer rebuilding work has already begun with the addition of Lewis Ferguson from Hamilton Accies, with Sam Cosgrove and Mikey Devlin signed for next season in mind.
McLean said: “I’ve worked with the manager long enough. I don’t think the club will be a poor state as long as he is in charge. Because I know the quality of player he can attract. I know the kind of player he will bring.
“I know he will, once again, build an excellent squad – as he has done for however long he’s been here. There was a lot of talk about being in transition last season but look at the quality of players he got.
“He brought Ryan Christie back, Gary Mackay-Steven, Greg Stewart. It shows he knows what he’s doing. I’ve got so much confidence in him and I know he can build an excellent squad for the future, even if he is losing key players.”
The Dons had been linked with Hibernian midfielder Dylan McGeouch, who appears set for a move to England. McInnes has expressed a desire to work with Christie for the third time but the former Caley Thistle midfielder is keen to try force his way into Brendan Rodgers’ plans at Celtic Park.
McInnes will not sit and wait for targets to decide to come to Pittodrie and McLean knows work is being done to prepare the squad for the 2018-19 campaign.
He said: “That has started already. Mikey Devlin was signed in January – for next season. So that shows you how far ahead the manager is thinking, how on the ball he is.
“I’m sure he’ll have another few things up in his sleeve. He’ll have the ball rolling on a few things. I’ve got so much confidence in him, that he can make this squad even stronger next season.”