With last seasons 20 English Premier League clubs announcing the players that they have chosen to release, Craig Brown will no doubt have tilted his gaze south of the border. Although players at the high end of spectrum such as Jonathon Woodgate, James McFadden and Owen Hargreaves are clearly out of the Dons reach, there are a number of interesting names on the list that while not obviously unattainable, would go some way towards strengthening last seasons heavily weakened Aberdeen side.
Despite the signing of experienced Frenchman Youl Mawene, the Aberdeen backline is still in sore need of bolstering, with experienced reinforcements needed to supplement the likes of Andrew Considine and Rory McArdle. Despite often being lambasted for his poor performances for the Scottish National Team, Steven Caldwell, formerly of Wigan would be an ambitious capture. Boasting years of experience at the highest level, Caldwell has been linked with former club Leeds United and would most likely be out of Aberdeen's financial reach.
A more realistic contender would be Manchester City's versatile full back Javan Vidal. Primarily a right sided full back, the Manchester born 22 year old impressed during a year on loan at Pittodrie in 2009, making 13 league appearances. Most recently turning out for English League Two side Chesterfield, Vidal is sure to be on Craig Brown's radar.
While Brown himself has admitted that a replacement for Derby County bound forward Chris Maguire is not a priority, he has said that if the right player becomes available it would be a possibility. 21 year old English striker Kieran Agard was released yesterday by Everton and has SPL experience after a brief loan spell at Kilmarnock last season. While he is seriously unproven having made only 9 senior appearances in his brief career, Agard could be seen as the man to provided much needed competition for places up front.
Perhaps the most pressing concern for Aberdeen is the need for a second goalkeeper, with Jamie Langfield having recently suffered a seizure and likely to be sidelined until September. Perpetually out on loan Scottish goalkeeper Iain Turner would be an able deputy and would probably be able to compete with Langfield for the number one jersey, though it would most likely be too costly to sign him and retain Langfield. 29 year old Welsh goalkeeper Jason Brown would may be a more affordable target. Released by Blackburn he has sizable experience as an understudy and as a player coming into the prime of his career would see a move to Aberdeen as an opportunity to earn a regular starting berth.
While many would see trawling through players deemed replaceable at Premier League sides as a waste of time, the successful January acquisition of Robert Milsom on a free from Fulham has shown that there is quality to be found among players found wanting at the highest level.