Lewis Ferguson was Aberdeen's standout player last season.

He has arguably been the Dons' top talent for a while now. His abilities and consistency earned him the Scottish Football Writer's Association young player of the year, as well as admiring glances from around the country, from clubs looking to snap up the 20-year-old before he reaches his peak powers.

One of those clubs linked with Ferguson was Steven Gerrard's Rangers, an outfit the Ferguson family are synonymous with. Uncle Barry was club captain and one of the best midfield players the Light Blues ever produced. Dad Derek the same. It certainly would not be out of the realms of possibility that Lewis, should he be given the opportunity, could go on to emulate his family members as an Ibrox icon.

Of course, it's all well and good deciding the youngster's future in a hypothetical sense. Ferguson is contracted at Pittodrie until 2024 and has a manager in Derek McInnes who is a massive fan of his skills and would undoubtedly want him to stick around. And then there's the rivalry between Rangers and Aberdeen dating back years. The sale of Ryan Jack to Glasgow did not go down well.

Club legend Willie Miller, then, reckons there would be a similar frosty reception from his former employers should Gerrard decide to make a move for Ferguson. There is no doubt in Miller's mind that the player can do the business at any level. He's built, says Miller, for the game down south and he'd cope at Rangers, too.

But the retired defender is not sure how well McInnes and the Dons would take to an unwanted approach for one of their most promising prospects. "Lewis has come in and done great," he told H&T Sport. "He's been first on the team sheet, really, since he came to the club and he's an influential young player.

"When you get influential youngsters like that at Aberdeen, you know what's going to happen. There's going to be interest. Like Scott McKenna, there's going to be interest and you've just got to accept that being the case.

"You have to hope you can hold onto these players for as long as possible to get the best out of them. If they are good enough, eventually, they are going to go, in modern football it's then the case of making sure you get the right kind of funds in to go and strengthen the squad.

"It's also fair to the players, there will come a time when they will go. Scott McKenna is built perfectly for the game down south and it'll be the same with Lewis. He has enough football advice around him with his family, so I won't give him any, I'm sure he'll be kept right.

"It's down to managers' opinions [on potential interest] and Steven Gerrard has his own. I'm sure he'll be well briefed on the quality that Lewis has but he's got to make the decision on if he needs that type of player or how he balances his squad and uses his resources. And also, there's always the response he's going to get from the club he's got to ask for their player. I don't think it would be a particularly welcome response from Aberdeen!

"It's then down to the buying manager to shape his squad and decide who he thinks he needs to do what every Rangers fan wants him to do and that's stop Celtic winning 10 in a row next season."

Miller knows Ferguson's future lies away from the Granite City down the line. But he backs manager McInnes to act in the best interests of Aberdeen with regards to any potential move when it inevitably comes. The 65-year-old has always backed Del. Even when fans were inexplicably calling for a change at the helm, Miller stood by the boss.

He will do so again this season, despite Aberdeen dropping a spot in the Premiership standings last season and losing third place to Motherwell. An issue Miller knows will have upset McInnes. "I think Derek will be disappointed the season didn't finish and they didn't get the chance to overtake Motherwell," he went on. "That's where the disappointment will lie, and then not having the Scottish Cup semi-final played.

"When you look at how close the two teams are, there might be a bit of frustration there because people will be saying how Motherwell had a fantastic season and Aberdeen maybe didn't. You've got to take that on the chin. I still believe Derek is the right man and he's done a fantastic job at the club.

"The quality is definitely there. The season was a bit patchy but the quality of the squad is pretty good. I think the support Derek has had from the new chairman in trying to make sure the squad is strong enough for the new season, has been there financially.

"To allow Derek to have the squad in good shape for the coming season. Normally, perhaps, it's scraping by or doing loan deals. In  a way, the good work they've done, has penalised the club a bit. The players are in contract and that is a big burden on the club. I think it was done with the right point of view in mind, Derek was happy with the support, and you can only do what you think is best at any time.

"I just hope they can get back playing sooner rather than later, to get the quality tested out again."