A new partnership was given it’s tentative debut on Saturday, and it is one that Robbie Neilson hopes will bare fruit, and plenty of it.
Osman Sow and Chuks Aneke have only shared 45 minutes of football together, and though it was when Dons had 10 men and were chasing the game against Bradford City on Saturday, there were signs of good things to come.
Dons haven’t had a strike-partnership, per se, for a long time. So long spent playing with a solo striker, seldom have there been two on the field with any regularity. Even Benik Afobe and Will Grigg, in the latter stages of 2014, were often used one or the other, rather than as a dynamic duo.
Aneke is establishing something of a cult following, given his desperation to prove himself every time he touches the ball after yet another injury set back.
Meanwhile, Sow too is keen to show what he’s capable of after securing a move in the summer. And though he has two goals so far, his work rate has warranted more reward. The Swede looks, in his eight appearances in Robbie Neilson’s side, to be a striker who thrives having a partner.
The early stages of his budding partnership with Ryan Seager were starting to blossom before Aneke’s return, with good play between the two in games against Rochdale and AFC Wimbledon.
And while he too only has two goals for his 13 appearances, Seager has shown a good eye for goal, and doesn’t often miss the target.
Sow and Aneke share similar qualities, which could work for and against playing alongside each other regularly. Both are physically commanding, have excellent hold-up abilities, but also have a great turn of pace and can strike fear into defenders when running at them. Neither are afraid to take a shot on, both have a good eye for a pass to slip in a team-mate - see Sow’s cross to create the opener against AFC - and both have an excellent work-rate.
But with two people doing the same job, will they be too similar to work together? Only time on the pitch together well tell.
Neilson is keen, and with Aneke himself admitting he’s more of a play-maker than a centre forward, Seager could yet see a more regular role with two dominant figures around him to give him the chances to finish.