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Aberdeen loanee Virtanen loving life at Arbroath

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 10:43 AM

Miko Virtanen feels Arbroath’s resurgence has proved he made the right decision to join them on loan from Aberdeen.

The Finland youth international joined Dick Campbell’s side at the end of August, fresh from signing a new two-year deal at Pittodrie.

The midfielder has started the last six games for the Gayfield outfit, of which they have won four, putting themselves level on points with Caley Thistle in the final Championship play-off place. They turned over Inverness 3-0 at home on Saturday.

A Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup appearance for the Dons reserves was his sole appearance for his parent club before heading out on loan, with Virtanen delighted with how the move has panned out.

Virtanen said: “It’s excellent for me. Four wins and starting them all – that’s what you want as a young lad.

“Being part of training and getting along with the lads, as a whole the experience has been class.

“I would have been between the two – maybe a couple of bench appearances but most of the time with the reserves.

“I’ve been doing that for two or three seasons now, so we thought it was a good next step for me to come and play men’s football. I thought I was ready for it.

“It’s a really good level. I was wanting to play as high as I could and Arbroath not being too far from Aberdeen, it worked out well. I’m enjoying the games – it’s been brilliant for me to come into.”

Virtanen splits his time training between Aberdeen and Arbroath, allowing Derek McInnes and his coaching team to keep tabs on the 20-year-old’s progress.

He added: “I’m in every other day pretty much at Aberdeen and keep in close contact with my team-mates and the staff at Aberdeen.

“They keep asking how I’m doing and keep close contact with the coaching staff here.

“They come watch games when they can and it’s a really good close relationship between the two clubs.”

Prior to beating the Caley Jags, Arbroath had also beaten Morton, Partick Thistle and Alloa on their run to fifth in the table.Virtanen said: “We’ve been really good home and away and it shows the quality we’ve got in the team. Even as a part-time team, we can really challenge the teams above us. Long may it continue.

“We’re not thinking too far ahead – we’ll see how we get on against Morton and go from there.

“It’s only us and Alloa that are part-time so, as the gaffer says, there’s a cause for us to fight.”

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