Currently out on loan at Arbroath, Aberdeen midfielder Miko Virtanen is targeting Derek McInnes’ first-team upon his return to Pittodrie.
The 20-year-old will spend this season at Gayfield with the Red Litchies. However, on his return to Aberdeen, he wants to follow a similar path that the likes of Dean Campbell have walked.
He wants to break into McInnes’ first-team plans, but he knows he must impress in the Championship in order to achieve this.
He told the Daily Record (The Winner, page 10, 04/11/19): “I’m on loan here until the end of the season but I’m loving it here. I love playing in front of our fans, getting points on the table and hopefully staying up.
“My long-term goal is to break into the Aberdeen team but I’m not looking too far ahead. It’s fantastic for me to get experience of playing in the first team and for Finland Under-21s. I want to keep enjoying that.
“I train twice a week with Arbroath and the rest of the week at Aberdeen. Our new training ground at Aberdeen will give the club a massive lift. It’s great to have the chance to train there but my only focus right now is making sure I’m in perfect shape to play.”
Aberdeen kid Virtanen is featuring with Arbroath
So far this season, the 20-year-old has made seven appearances for Dick Campbell’s men. Despite still being a part-time team, the Gayfield sit in a respectable fifth place position.
The likes of Campbell and Lewis Ferguson have shown that young players are given opportunities in the Dons midfield. With Craig Bryson and other experienced players at the club too, there are good role models at Pittodrie for Virtanen too.
First of all though he has to keep impressing in the second tier. The Finland youth international has made five starts and will obviously target a good few more to build up his senior CV.
If he does that, who knows, perhaps he will show McInnes that he’s capable of making the breakthrough at Aberdeen.