Barry Robson has hinted that Dante Polvara could be given a chance to revive his Aberdeen career this term.
The 23-year-old American midfielder joined the Dons in January 2022 on a two-and-a-half-year contract but has struggled to make an impact so far.
Polvara managed only 11 appearances – just five as a starter – under previous two Reds bosses Stephen Glass and Jim Goodwin before being loaned out to Charleston Battery in his homeland in the closing months of last season.
However, he has returned to his parent club this summer and played the first 62 minutes on Saturday as Aberdeen raced into a three-goal lead on their way to an impressive 3-2 friendly win over Charlton at The Valley.
“Under the two managers that were here before, for whatever reason, he was sent out on loan or whatever,” Robson told Aberdeen TV. “But myself and my staff saw a football player in there, a good kid who’s got good size.
“He’s athletic, he can pass the ball with both feet, he wants to run, he wants to press, he can affect the game, so we’ve tried to coach him and help him to see if we can get him to be part of the squad and help the team, and you could see he can (against Charlton).
“He’s come on leaps and bounds and he should be proud of himself. He’s given us a headache for coming in to play in the side.”
Robson confirmed that the Dons could be without centre-backs Rhys Williams and Angus MacDonald for Saturday’s cinch Premiership opener away to Livingston after the pair missed the trip to London through injury.
“Rhys won’t make next weekend, Angus maybe,” said the manager. “We’re still waiting on him. He’s back on the training pitch, he’s running so we’ll see how he is. We’ve still got another week so we’ll see how we are.”
Robson was buoyed by the way his team performed in their last pre-season friendly of the summer after they “blew Charlton away” with a scintillating first half performance that brought a 3-0 half-time lead after an own goal from Nathan Asimwe was followed by further goals from Graeme Shinnie and Bojan Miovski.
“That’s as good a 45 minutes as you’re going to see from any team,” said Robson. “We won’t get carried away with that because it’s only pre-season but everything we want to be and everything we’ve worked at, we showed it in the first hour there and Charlton just couldn’t live with it.”