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Thursday, 2 August, 2001, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Thornley wins deal with Aberdeen
Ben Thornley has signed in time for Saturday
Ben Thornley has signed in time for Saturday
Aberdeen have completed the signing of former Manchester United winger Ben Thornley on a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old has been on trial at Pittodrie for the last week after being released by Huddersfield Town at the end of last season.

Thornley learned his trade alongside the likes of David Beckham and Paul Scholes at Old Trafford.

He has three England under-21 caps and was transferred from Manchester United to Huddersfield for 175,000 in the summer of 1998.

Thornley scored in the friendly win over Arbroath and has impressed manager Ebbe Skovdahl sufficiently in training to warrant a contract.

Impressed by ambition

Skovdahl said: "Ben is an experienced player with good habits and will be a valuable addition.

"He has very quickly settled in here and it is a bonus that he can play on either side of the field."

Skovdahl is desperate to bring in new players
Skovdahl is desperate to bring in new players
Thornley has been impressed with the ambition of the club and his team-mates despite their opening day defeat to Rangers at the weekend.

The Bury-born wide man looks set to be handed his debut against Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday and it is an occasion he is clearly relishing.

"I've been really impressed with the club, the manager and my new team-mates," he said.

"Everyone has made me feel extremely welcome and I can't wait to play in the SPL.

"I watched the game last weekend and, although we lost, it's obvious that there is a lot of talent at the club."

Thornley's move to Scotland has ended the hopes that Arbroath's young winger, Kevin Heenan, had of joining Aberdeen.

Dropped his interest

An Aberdeen spokesman said: "Ebbe has been watching Heenan and is well aware of what he can do, but the fact is he would fulfil the same, right-sided role as Thornley.

"The manager is looking for a more experienced winger and he is only young and Thornley fills that role."

Skovdahl has also dropped his interest in Molenbeek hitman Edwin van Ankeren, who was also recently on trial.

The Danish manager is on the look-out for a striker, but van Ankeren now looks set to sign for Norwegian side Odd Grenland.

Aberdeen's top scorer last season, Arild Stavrum, joined Turkish side Besiktas during the summer, leaving the Danish boss without an out-and-out goalscorer.

See also:

29 Jul 01 |  Aberdeen
Aberdeen put Thornley on trial
28 Jul 01 |  Scot Prem
Three and easy for Rangers
26 Jul 01 |  Aberdeen
Dons unveil stadium plans
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