Former Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie is confident the return of Ash Taylor to Pittodrie will be a boost to the Dons and insists the defender is a “top player.”

Taylor returned to Pittodrie this summer after leaving Northampton Town and Shinnie believes Dons boss Derek McInnes has done well to bring the 28-year-old back to the Granite City.

19th May 2019; Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland, Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League football, Hibernian versus Aberdeen; Stevie Mallan of Hibernian breaks away from Graeme Shinnie of Aberdeen

(photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Taylor made 126 appearances for the Dons in his first spell at Pittodrie and Shinnie thinks his best years are still to come.

“Ash is only 28 and his best years are ahead of him,” Shinnie told the Press and Journal.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Stuart Armstrong of Celtic takes on Ash Taylor of Aberdeen during the William Hill Scottish Cup Final between Aberdeen and Celtic at Hampden Park on May 27, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“He was a top player for us, when I was there, and I am sure that will be the case going into the new season and going forward.

“Ash was a big, strong defender.

“The manager knew what he was good at and will see those same strengths. Ash went back down the road for family reasons.

“I know he enjoyed Aberdeen because I used to stay close to him and his family. I know he had to think long and hard about leaving Aberdeen but I think it is a great signing from Derek to get him back up.”

After leaving Pittodrie this summer, Shinnie will be looking forward to a new challenge with Derby County in the Championship.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 08: Ash Taylor of Aberdeen and Nir Biton of Celtic in action during the Ladbroke Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 8, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The former Aberdeen captain will get a chance to quickly return to Scotland when Derby head north to face Rangers next month at Ibrox.

The Dones will be hoping that the loss of their influential skipper doesn’t weaken them next season as they look to improve on last season’s fourth place finish.

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