Rocky Bushiri outlines Hibs aims as he joins 'best team in Edinburgh' and reveals Shaun Maloney pull and Stephane Omeonga friendship

Rocky Bushiri has admitted the chance to work with Shaun Maloney played a big part in his decision to join Hibs.

By Patrick McPartlin
Monday, 10th January 2022, 7:35 pm
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 8:46 pm
Rocky Bushiri has revealed the chance to work with Shaun Maloney was a big draw

The Belgian defender signed a six-month loan deal with the Easter Road side and could make the move permanent in the summer, with the Capital club agreeing the transfer details with Bushiri’s parent club Norwich City.

The 22-year-old is eager to get going in his new colours and will provide competition in defence.

"When I heard from Ben Kensell (Hibs chief executive), he explained to me a bit about the club and the project, and I really liked what he was saying,” Bushiri told HibsTV.

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"I instantly wanted to join, especially because of the manager Shaun Maloney, who I knew from his time with Roberto Martinez at Belgium.”

A product of K.V. Oostende’s youth system, Bushiri began his career with De Kustboys before joining the Canaries in 2019.

Bushiri has since spent time back in his homeland on loan at three different teams – Sint-Truiden, Mechelen, and a second spell at Eupen – as well as at Blackpool, while he was linked with a loan move to Coventry last summer.

This time, however, he had his heart set on a new challenge.

He continued: “I really wanted to stay in the UK. Everyone who knows me knows that I am always ready for new challenges, and I am looking forward to playing in the Scottish league.

"I am really happy to be here. It is my first day today, I have arrived, done my medical and now I can’t wait to meet everyone, make some new friends and defend the badge together."

Bushiri shared a pitch with former Hibs fans’ favourite Stephane Omeonga on international duty, and the pair are good friends off the field as well – and it sounds as though the current Livingston midfielder passed on some tips to his pal about the Hibees.

“One of my friends is Stephane Omeonga who used to play here. I used to play with Stephane at Belgium U21s and I know he enjoyed his time here,” the new arrival added.

"I also know that we won the Scottish Cup in 2016 and that we are the best team in Edinburgh.”

Hibs have been keen on strengthening their backline for some time and Bushiri is the type of defender that should sit well in the rearguard and comfortably fit into Maloney’s preferred style of play, with a pass success rate of 88 per cent. He has played at left centre-back

“I have pace, I am quite physical too, but also good on the ball,” he continued.

“I will give 100 per cent every time I am out on that pitch. I will give everything; I want to help the team finish as high up the table as possible and keep as many clean sheets as we can along the way.”

With Ryan Porteous suspended for three games and Paul McGinn potentially missing out depending on the outcome of his SFA hearing, Maloney could hand Bushiri his Hibs debut in next week’s Scottish Premiership clash against Celtic in Glasgow.

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