Brown's Aberdeen squad takes shape for the new season

Aberdeen manager Craig Brown
Brown says he must sign a new goalkeeper before the league campaign begins

Craig Brown is confident that his Aberdeen squad will be in decent shape for the opening weeks of the Scottish Premier League campaign.

The Dons had only five substitutes listed for their 3-0 friendly win at Forfar on Saturday.

However, four out of five of his injured players will return soon and the arrival of Icelander Kari Arnason and a back-up goalkeeper are imminent.

"We only had 16 players but we have five on the fringes," said Brown.

The former Scotland manager has brought Isaac Osbourne, Youl Mawene, Chris Clark and keeper David Gonzalez to Pittodrie, but has lost the striking talents of Chris Maguire plus captain Paul Hartley, defender Zander Diamond and Derek Young.

Brown, though, is keen to focus on new arrivals and on those who are battling back from injury, but some may miss the league opener when Aberdeen host St Johnstone on 23 July.

He told BBC Scotland that Arnason, an Iceland international, would be a "very important player" to the club and, at 6ft 2in, would offer height in defence or midfield.

And on the goalkeeping front, Brown said: "We are looking at a couple of keepers - one could be a signing and the other would be a loan if we get access to them.

"We have to get in another for next week because we only have David Gonzalez, who is a very fine goalkeeper, the Colombian international goalkeeper.

"But we are looking for another who will be a number two throughout the season unless he proves that he is better than the man who is in possession.

"We have to have a goalkeeper for next Saturday so we are on the case at the moment and hopefully early in the week we will manage that.

"We could pick one up easily just now but we want quality."

New club captain Ricky Foster was not risked against Forfar but will be ready to lead the team against Derek McInnes's outfit, while Yoann Folly should return "within two or three weeks" and keeper Jamie Langfield is a long-term absentee as he recovers from a seizure.

"Foster's injury is a slight one to his groin," said the manager. "If the game had been an important one he would have played."

Chris Clark has a knee knock that should not trouble him for long, while Rory McArdle missed the friendly having had a shoulder operation.

Brown explained: "The surgeon sees him next Tuesday and hopefully he will get the clearance then.

"He has been training but he is not allowed to play where there is contact so that rules him out of fixtures at the moment."

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