Peter Pawlett believes Aberdeen have the potential to emerge from Rangers' shadow and challenge Celtic for the Scottish Premier League title.
The financial troubles at Ibrox have led to Rangers newco being forced to start again in Division Three.
Their absence is expected to see Celtic stroll to the top-flight title, with no club having come close to breaking the Old Firm dominance in recent years.
Pawlett, though, is confident that Aberdeen can make the title race competitive, with their summer transfer business suggesting that they will be a force to be reckoned with.
"We've made some good additions and you look elsewhere and you don't really see anyone else bringing good players into their teams," he said in the Daily Record.
"It gives us confidence going into the start of the season.
"With Rangers not in the league, there's definitely a place there to be fought for and to challenge Celtic is the aim.
"Bringing Jonny (Hayes) and Niall (McGinn) in refreshes things and we all link well together and we all play football - we're not just players who run and run - we like to get the ball down as well."