Derek McInnes says Scott McKenna can fire himself back into the thoughts of top English clubs through his performances for Aberdeen and Scotland.
The 23-year-old is eager to try his luck south of the border, and tabled a transfer request last August in an attempt to try to force the issue after the club had rejected £3-million bids from QPR and Nottingham Forest.
Things have calmed since then, with the request withdrawn and the January window coming and going without any offers received.
Yet, while it puts the issue to bed for the rest of the season, the Dons boss fully believes it will be a different story by the time the summer window opens up.
“Scott is doing great and he has been for a while,” said McInnes.
“I said in the six weeks before the January transfer window, people expect more from him now. It is as if people think: ‘Is that it?’.
“But he has been almost faultless for me over the last while.
“He is a brilliant boy. There could have been some disappointment from him at not leaving in the window but he has been as good as gold.
“He has marshalled the defence well recently, despite playing with different partners.
“He should score more goals, right enough. That is a shortfall in his game. But outwith that he does the job for me every week.
“Scott knows that if he keeps performing – and does his bit with the Scotland squad – if he keeps his head right and these performances going, then 100% there will be interest again in the summer.
“That is probably what he is working towards. The standard of play from him and the desire to push himself is there.
“What I love from him is that it doesn’t matter if it is a passing drill, sprints, possession, anything we do. Everything is full pelt from him.
“He never holds anything back and he challenges and pushes himself every day. Boys like that get their reward.
“You know good ones when they come along. He is as good as there has been.”
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