Andrew Considine has told Scott McKenna to knuckle down, prove his worth, and earn a move to an even bigger club than the ones that were chasing him this summer.
Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, and Nottingham Forest all failed to meet Aberdeen’s valuation of the player.
McKenna handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move away from Pittodrie. However, it was rejected, and he looks set to remain at the club until at least January.
The 22-year-old played in Aberdeen’s 2-0 defeat to Rijeka in Croatia last week, just hours after the English transfer window slammed closed, and Considine has praised the youngster’s attitude.
“He’s a very down-to-earth character and if he keeps playing the way he is, bigger names and bigger teams will come calling,” said 32-year-old Considine.
“It’s a tough one for him. There’s a lot of conversations between him, the agent and the manager, and that’s just left to them. The one thing that has to be said is to keep your head down, if you can, and let them deal with it. If the deal goes through, it goes through.
“To be fair to him he’s handled it well – very professional. He’s a young guy, and if he keeps his head down and works like he is right now, bigger and better things will come along.
“He’s had a lot to celebrate over the last 18 months. I know that will continue. He’ll maybe have another dozen Scotland caps in his pocket by next summer, so things are looking bright for him.”
Although Aberdeen won 3-0 in the same city four years ago, they were tepid against Rijeka this time around and their Europa League hopes hang in the balance.
However, if they score early on Thursday at Pittodrie the complexion of the tie would completely change.
Aberdeen have never made it past the third round of qualifying under McInnes, but the target this year is to reach the group stages. It is still possible but will take a mammoth effort.
“It would be one of the biggest results in European history for Aberdeen if they were to progress to the play-off,” continued Considine.
“We’ve struggled to get past this third round over the years, and to turn around a result like this I think it would be right up there.
“There’s two very good teams in the next round – either Cypriot side AEK Larnaca or KAA Gent of Belgium – but at the moment we’re behind in this tie.
“There’s another fixture to come and we’re looking forward to it. As of recent, we’ve been clinical at home. Being over in Georgia for the draw with Chikhura Sachkhere, it was much the same heat and the same game.
“We obviously managed to get an away goal, but when they came over we blew them away in the first 20 minutes. Then it’s a totally different game.
“If we can apply the same kind of pressure, there’s every chance we can get something.
“It’s a different game when we play them back home. We’ll be more in their faces and if we get an early goal, it’s game on.”
Aberdeen travel to St Mirren today, having opened their Premiership campaign last Sunday with a hard-fought victory over Hearts.
They have already played five European matches this season, but Considine insisted that the frequency of fixtures will not be a detriment to the squad.
Zak Vyner arrived on loan from Bristol City on Wednesday and was on the bench in the Balkans, but could make his debut against Saints.
“It’s tough playing Thursday-Sunday because it’s not something you’re used to,” said Considine.
“It’s not something you do in the league. When Europe comes calling and you go through the rounds, it can be tough. You need squad depth.
“We’ve got Zak in, who I’m looking forward to seeing, and Mikey Devlin back. Ash Taylor should hopefully also be back by the end of the month.”