Bundesliga wages, Champions League talent and addressing the 'lazy' tag - inside story on new Hibs signing

Blunt admission by star attacker is music to Monty's ears
The ex-Nice and Lyons forward signs with Hibs on loan from Hertha BSCThe ex-Nice and Lyons forward signs with Hibs on loan from Hertha BSC
The ex-Nice and Lyons forward signs with Hibs on loan from Hertha BSC

While the highlights and show-stopping moments on video undoubtedly caught the eye, it was an admission of human frailty by Myziane Maolida that had Nick Montgomery convinced. Listening to the former 10 million Euro man confess that he probably hadn’t worked hard enough to capitalise on his talent, Monty knew he’d found his ideal first signing for Hibs.

Montgomery, talking with enthusiasm about the new recruit's “Champions League” ability and still sounding a little surprised that a player on big Bundesliga wages had landed in the Scottish Premiership, loves that former Lyon wunderkind Maolida has taken ownership over the decisions that left him languishing in the German regional leagues. And Monty, who cites his work with Jason Cummings as an example of what can be done to turn a career around, isn’t too perturbed to hear that Hertha Berlin boss Pal Dardai infamously called his former player one of the laziest footballers he’d ever seen.

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Asked if he’d addressed that issue with the 24-year-old during video talks that ended in a six-month loan agreement with Hertha, Montgomery said: “He was the first to say, on the call, that he’s probably not worked as hard as he should have done - but that’s not been the case the last season, he’s been working really hard. He’s just not had any opportunities.

“I think his maturity to admit that was a big thing. I thought, this is a kid that’s had the world at his feet and he’s still only 24-years-old.  For him to want to come and play for Hibs shows massive character because he had offers from other clubs.

“There’s no way we get a player like Myziane if he’s perfect. He’d be playing at a Champions League club. Right now he has an opportunity to be exposed in a good league and get his career back on track.

“We had an honest conversation - and the biggest thing was I told him I wanted him to come here and enjoy his football. He bought in straight away.”

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Asked about his personal history of polishing rough diamonds and battered gems who have been knocked about by football, Montgomery said his background with surprise A-League winners Central Coast had given him an edge. And he believes Cummings, who went from an unwanted extra at Dundee to a place in the Socceroos World Cup squad after signing for Monty’s Mariners, showed what can be done.

The Yorkshireman said: “You have to be creative. There’s no way Central Coast Mariners sign Jason Cummings unless he’s got issues - or his career has gone off track.

“We (Hibs) are not a club that can pay big transfer fees. But what we do have is a great club with a big fan base and a platform for any player to perform and use it to go on to bigger things.  I enjoy working with players who have a point to prove. It’s a powerful thing.”

Monty believes Maolida is most dangerous as a central striker, although he’s also a threat cutting in from the left wing. Music to the ears of Hibs fans crying out for someone capable of scoring goals. And a relief to a manager who presumed that the former Nice star wouldn’t even consider a move to Scotland.

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“When his name arose it seemed like he was way out our means in terms of our budget,” said Montgomery. “He is a quality player on a salary of a top Bundesliga outfit when he signed before they (Hertha) were relegated.

“For us to be able to speak to him was the turning point. Being able to talk to him and his representative and be able to explain what we wanted from him - the biggest thing was him coming and enjoying his football in a good, physical league. One minute it seemed like it wouldn’t be possible but all credit to Hertha Berlin for helping facilitate the loan because for us he is a big signing.

“It’s massively exciting. Just from watching him in training the last few days, although he’s not been playing first team football regularly, he has been playing B team football and international football - and scoring goals. I think he’ll have a real impact. He’s a top quality player.”

Maolida’s international clearance should arrive in time for him to face Rangers next Wednesday. Former QPR midfielder Luke Amos, meanwhile, is training with Hibs – and looking to earn himself a contract.

Trialist Luke Amos trained with Hibs today.Trialist Luke Amos trained with Hibs today.
Trialist Luke Amos trained with Hibs today.
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Montgomery was happy to grant a trial to the 26-year-old free agent, who has been without a club since the end of last season, the gaffer explaining: “Luke’s only just arrived and just trained today He’s been out for a while, now he’s back fit, so it’s something we’ll monitor.

“It was a light training session today because of the game the next day so I’m looking forward to Luke being here next week and seeing how he progresses. He has to show that he’s fit and that he wants to come to the club.

“He’s been out for a while, he’s had offers to go into other clubs, but he felt it was right at the moment to come in so we could have a look at him. He’s a player with undoubted ability.”

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