Boro’s transfer activity took us north of the border in summer 2022; Dean Campbell coming down on loan from SPL side Aberdeen. The midfielder signed for us on a season-long loan that would cover the 2022-3 campaign. In doing so, gaffer Steve Evans had completed his fifth signing of the close season. And what a move it turned out to be. Campbell returned north upon the completion of his loan spell. While he may not have featured all that often in the end, he wrote his name into Boro’ folklore by scoring the winning goal at Villa Park in our FA Cup Round Three cupset.
Campbell had already started on the international pathway too. By the time he came to us, he had caps at all age groups between U14 and U19 levels. The next step? Well, U20 and U21 we’d guess. But that’s all in good time. The first thing on the horizon would be to make his Boro’ move work. Dons boss Jim Goodwin said: “Dean has come back in great shape for pre-season training, and he goes to Stevenage in order to secure some regular first team football, which I think is vital at this stage in his career. Gaining that additional game time, in a very competitive league, will be invaluable and we hope he will return here stronger as a result of the experience.”
Dean Campbell: Before Boro’
In 2009, Campbell started his career in the youth setup at Pittodrie. In the years that followed, he’d make the step up to the Dons’ first team; setting records on the way. His May 2017 debut against Celtic aged aged 16 years, 1 month, and 23 days made him the youngest Aberdeen player ever. Not only that, but he was the club’s Academy ‘Player of the Year’ for three straight seasons too. He continued to gain first team action for the club; picking up the club’s Young Player of the Year award for 2019-20. But it wouldn’t all be plain sailing.
In February 2022, he found himself out on loan with “a point to prove” at Kilmarnock.