Aberdeen icon Willie Miller has admitted that he’d have been surprised to know Scott McKenna would develop in one of Scotland’s best central defender after seeing him as a youngster in the Dons Academy.

Miller has watched the 22-year-old progress the youth system at Aberdeen after starting out as a midfielder – and the Dons legend admits he was a “tall, thin, matchstick-like player” as a youngster.

1986: Sandy Clarke (centre) of Hearts and Willie Miller (left) of Aberdeen both go for the ball during the Scottish Cup Final match at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. Aberdeen won the match 3-0. Mandatory Credit:

(photo by Allsport UK /Allsport)

“He was a silky, tall, thin, matchstick-like young player who played in midfield,” said Miller, as quoted by Football Scotland.

“If you had asked me at that time if he was going to be the big, powerful centre back that you see today, I’d have raised my eyebrows.”

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 08: Aberdeen Defender Scott McKenna takes a shot on goal during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Aberdeen and St Johnstone at Pittodrie Stadium on December 8, 2018 in Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

McKenna is now a full international and the Dons have rejected several multi-million-pound bids the defender.

After missing the last three games through suspension, McKenna is now available to return to Derek McInnes’ side for tonight’s clash with Hamilton.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 02: Scott McKenna of Aberdeen walks on the pitch with team mates prior to the Betfred Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on December 2, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Losing Tommie Hoban and Shay Logan to season-ending injuries will be a blow to the Dons but McKenna’s return will soften that.

McKenna has made 25 appearances so far this season and will be hoping to help the Dons secure European football for next season.

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