Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today claimed Scott Allan had been handed a “great opportunity” to fulfil the potential which saw him head for the English Premier League at the age of just 20 after the midfielder completed a surprise move to Easter Road.
The 22-year-old, linked with a switch to Rangers, had been training with Derby County and was also interesting Barnsley, Peterborough and Oxford United, leading Stubbs to describe his capture as “a tremendous coup” for the Capital club.
Allan shot to prominence with Dundee United, his performances catching the eye of Roy Hodgson who was then in charge of West Bromwich Albion, the now England manager insisting the Scotland Under-21 star would become an important player for the Midlands side who were said to have forked out £300,000 for him.
However, Allan never broke into the first team at the Hawthorns and after loan spells with Portsmouth, Milton Keynes Dons and Birmingham City, he was released at the end of last season.
Agreeing that Allan probably has a point to prove after clinching a two-year deal with Hibs, Stubbs said: “Scott is obviously a gifted player. He had a big move to England and for one reason or another it probably didn’t work out the way he would have liked.
“But I’m not too interested in those reasons, I’m only interested in giving him an opportunity to fulfil his potential. This is a great opportunity for him to get his career back on track and for us to get the best out of him. He’s still a young player who has a lot more to offer than we have seen.
“I’d imagine there’s probably going to be an element of him feeling he has a point to prove. Whenever anyone goes from Scotland to England their career is expected to go in one direction, an upward spiral. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it could be a change in manager, it doesn’t always work out that way.
“Now Scott has an opportunity to showcase his talents, we’ll definitely give him that chance and it’s up to him to perform.
“He’s an outstanding young talent with a bright future. He will add something different to what we already have within our squad. He’s an attacking midfielder who can both create and score goals. He’s already gained a lot of experience from his time at Dundee United and also down south, so he will be equipped for the demands of the upcoming season.”
Glasgow-born Allan himself insisted he’s ready to take the opportunity presented to him, saying: “I believe I learned a lot from my time down south – both personally and professionally – but I had my mind set on a move back to Scotland.
“At this point in my career I want to play football as regularly as possible and be closer to home and the move to Hibs ticks all the boxes. I’m an ambitious player and I want to achieve success here with Hibs. I’ve been impressed with what the manager has said and I want to help the club get back into the Scottish Premiership. I’m really excited about what we can achieve – it will be a really competitive league but it’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to.”
Allan has become Stubbs’ third signing of the summer following the arrivals of David Gray and Farid El Alagui and the head coach is closing in on a season-long deal for Hull City goalkeeper Mark Oxley. The 23-year-old is effectively fourth choice at the KC Stadium behind Scotland No. 1 Allan McGregor, Steve Harper and Eldin Jakupovic and Hull boss Steve Bruce is open to the move which Oxley, who made 43 appearances on loan with Oldham Athletic last season, is said to be considering.
Stubbs said: “We’re pleased with the signings we’ve completed so far with hopefully some more to come in the near future. We’d like to thank our supporters for the patience shown over the past five weeks and hopefully they’ll be excited by Scott’s arrival.”