McInnes: Lewis Ferguson has become key player for Aberdeen

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes admits Lewis Ferguson’s new contract reflects the fact he quickly developed into a key player following his summer switch from Hamilton.

The 19-year-old midfielder has signed a two-year extension to tie himself to Pittodrie until 2024 after netting seven goals for the Dons.

McInnes said: “There was no real urgency to do it, but there was a real desire from myself, the club and Lewis and his family.

“He’s come from Hamilton to Aberdeen and become a key player in my team, and the contract reflects that and how he’s adjusted to that in his performances.

“We’re looking for Lewis to keep improving and to try get as much experience as he can in an Aberdeen shirt by playing in Europe regularly, winning cup finals – not just taking part in them and being at the top end of the table.

“There’s a maturity about him and part of the attraction before you sign him is you think you know the boy, but you’re yet to work with him. That’s just been reinforced.

“While we’re pleasantly surprised at how well he’s done, I think there’s always a feeling quietly from the staff and myself that he would be one that once he got in the team he would be very difficult to leave out. That’s the way it’s played out and he’s contributed brilliantly.

“He’s had a few headlines by scoring goals and different types of goals, but anybody that knows the game can actually see his performances are a very high standard, even when he’s not catching the headlines.”

Ferguson said: “It was an easy decision. As everyone can see I am loving life up in Aberdeen and enjoying every bit of it.

“It is a long time, the length of the contract. And I have a lot to thank the manager and the club for. I have to thank them for repaying me with a new contact and I am just delighted.

“It shows that the manager really trusts me and wants me here for the next few years.”

The news was a major contrast to the blow Aberdeen received earlier in the week when it was confirmed that on-loan Watford defender Tommie Hoban would miss the rest of the season after suffering cruciate ligament damage.

The 25-year-old had only just returned from a five-month lay-off following shoulder surgery and his knee injury is the latest in a long line of fitness problems.

McInnes said: “If ever a boy has deserved a decent crack at the whip it’s him. He does everything right and everything to the letter and it’s a reminder to players that your career can go so quickly and injuries can play a huge part in it.

“He’s in the gym an hour before training doing everything right to set himself up. He’s come back from serious injuries before and this is the first on this knee, which is so ridiculously unlucky to have to deal with this one.

“If there’s any sort of fairness and decency then he’ll get a fair crack at it when he comes back from this injury.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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