'He can do it' - Aberdeen boss casts glowing verdict on Leeds United loanee Ryan Edmondson
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Young Whites striker Edmondson joined Aberdeen on loan until January on the last day of July but the commanding forward then suffered an ankle injury in training with the teen thought to be facing four months out.
Edmondson returned to Leeds yet made a swift recovery and found himself back in the Aberdeen team less than six weeks later when coming on as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 league loss at home to Motherwell on September 20.
Four more outings from the bench then followed - including in a Europa League tie in Sporting Lisbon - and the teen was then handed his first start for the Dons in Tuesday night's SPL hosting of Hamilton.
Starting as the main striker with Marley Watkins just in behind, Edmondson responded by weighing in with a brace in the 4-2 victory and boss McInnes felt the Harrogate-born teenager would have probably completed a hat-trick but for coming off in the 55th minute after rolling his ankle.
McInnes told the Evening Express: "Ryan Edmondson for somebody so young led the line so well and I think you see the benefit of having a traditional number nine.
“We were probably lacking that on Saturday so it was always in my mind to play him because I thought we would get plenty of crosses into the box.
“Thankfully he got his reward and he was unlucky not to get his hat-trick. He probably would’ve done, because he looked a threat, if he hadn’t had to come off.
“I think Marley Watkins was better because of him as well because I think Marley is better playing around a main striker.
“We thought long and hard about playing him (Edmondson) on Saturday and we know Sam Cosgrove’s still got a bit to go and we have to be mindful that Sam’s not had any competitive football for a long time.
“He did three weeks of pre-season before he got his injury. Edmondson stood up and led the line well.
“He’s a bit excitable and there’s a rawness to him, but I like that because he’s eager to please and he’s eager to score goals.
“He’s thought highly of at Leeds and has scored goals in their under-23s, it is a step up for him, but you can see physically he can do it.
“The goals will do him no harm because when you come to the club as a loan player or a new signing you want to contribute and feel accepted on the pitch.
“We see a lot of good in him in training, this was his opportunity to start and he took it.”
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Thank you Laura Collins