Aberdeen have continued their busy start to the summer transfer window with the signings of Rhys Williams from Liverpool and Graeme Shinnie from Wigan Athletic.
Dons boss Barry Robson has now sealed five signings this summer after Aberdeen confirmed the arrivals of Williams and Shinnie on Wednesday, June 28. The pair follow the club’s earlier swoops to bring Leighton Clarkson, Nicky Devlin and Ester Sokler to Pittodrie in this window.
Shinnie has signed a three-year contract to finalise his permanent transfer to Aberdeen after spending the second half of last season at the club on loan from Wigan. The temporary deal also marked a return to Pittodrie for the 31-year-old after his spell there from 2015 to 2019.
Shinnie seals his permanent transfer back to Aberdeen from Wigan
Aberdeen brought Shinnie back to Pittodrie in January after three-and-a-half-seasons away, during which he also played for Derby County. His form under Robson would help the Dons finish the 2022/23 Premiership season in third place and qualify for a European group stage.
Robson’s players are guaranteed a place in the group stage of the Europa Conference League in 2023/24. But Aberdeen can upgrade their UEFA tournament for the Europa League group stage. The Dons will contest the play-offs for UEFA’s secondary club competition this August.
Shinnie played 14 times for two goals and captained Aberdeen during his loan transfer from Wigan in 2023. Robson will also keep the former Scotland international as the club’s captain in 2023/24 following his permanent move. He first served as the Dons’ skipper in May 2017.
Aberdeen sign Williams on loan from Liverpool for the 23/24 season
Aberdeen have further built up Robson’s squad for the 2023/24 season with the signing of Williams on loan from Liverpool. The 22-year-old will spend the term at Pittodrie to further his first-team experiences. He spent the first half of the 2022/23 season on loan with Blackpool.
Williams is a product of Liverpool’s academy but has only made 17 first-team appearances with Jurgen Klopp’s side. The German further only fielded the centre-half during the Reds’ injury crisis in 2020/21. He has not featured at all with the Anfield natives since May 2021.
Blackpool proved to be a beneficial move for the defender at first last season. He made 17 outings with the Seasiders, all in the English Championship. But the former England youth international began to fall out of favour before returning to Anfield in the January window.
Klopp will hope Robson can now bring the best out of Williams again. The Liverpool coach hailed Williams as an ‘incredible’ defender in November 2020 after facing Atalanta BC in the Champions League. Six of the Preston-born star’s Liverpool appearances came in Europe.
Williams’ move to Pittodrie also reunites the defender with Clarkson following Aberdeen’s transfer for the Liverpool product on June 15. The Dons moved to keep the 21-year-old at the club after he registered six goals and nine assists over 38 appearances on loan in 2022/23.