Austin Samuels wants to follow in the footsteps of the likes of James Maddison by using a loan spell at Aberdeen to kick-start his career.
The 20-year-old has joined the Dons on a one-year loan from Wolves that also includes an option to buy, and made his debut in last month’s 1-1 draw with Ross County before the international break.
England midfielder Maddison was a similar age when he joined Aberdeen on loan from Norwich in 2016, going on to score two goals in 17 appearances.
“I definitely know that they do develop a lot of good young players here,” Samuels said. “Obviously Maddison is the stand-out one for me, watching him in the Premier League every week for Leicester.
“That was definitely a factor and something I thought about. Hopefully I can emulate that as well and kick on my career throughout this season and the seasons to go.
“When I knew Aberdeen were interested I wanted to come here. I know the history of the club, they’ve got so many good players and are always going well in the league, so it was definitely a place I wanted to come and develop myself.”
Samuels has had previous loan spells at Kidderminster and Bradford, and said it was important to him to seek regular football knowing how difficult it is to get first-team action with Wolves.
“When I was growing up (Wolves) were in the Championship or League 1, or the bottom end of the Premier League,” he said. “Now the ambitions are much higher there’s probably less chance of youth players being used.
“It’s good to have a new challenge playing against new players, players you’ve never played against before. It will be a good challenge to see if they can suss me out and if I can suss them out going forward.
“(Scottish football) is obviously very physical but I’m confident in my abilities and I do back myself.”
Samuels enjoyed an encouraging debut before the break, even if he could not help Aberdeen end a winless run that has reached five games going into Saturday’s trip to Motherwell.
His pace was a constant problem for County and he went close to scoring a debut goal when he fired just wide from Calvin Ramsay’s lofted pass.
“I was gutted that I didn’t get the goal,” he said. “I saw the chance just sneak past the post and I put my head in the grass, it was so close. I saw my name up in lights for a second but I came back down to reality after that.
“It was a good experience overall. I think that’s the most fans I’ve played in front of in my life. All the support was good and I loved every minute of it.”
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