Chris Mueller Hibs exit discussed as David Gray explains why youngster won't be involved

Interim Hibs boss David Gray has admitted that Chris Mueller’s departure has left the side light in the final third – but suggested there was no chance of the American winger prolonging his stay in Edinburgh.

Friday, 6th May 2022, 4:20 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th May 2022, 10:08 am

The 25-year-old left Easter Road and joined hometown side Chicago Fire earlier this week after just 15 appearances in green and white.

Speaking ahead of the match against Aberdeen, Gray said: “Sometimes a player has the desire to go home and take an opportunity to change their life.

"It’s something that Chris wanted to do. We wouldn’t want to keep a player who didn’t want to be here because that can cause all sorts of problems.

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"It’s a decision that was made between the club and Chris, and it’s what they felt was best moving forwards."

It was noted by the club that the former Orlando City attacker had struggled to properly adjust to the Scottish game.

"Some players hit the ground running straightaway, others take a wee bit longer to adapt, and some never really do. It’s just one of these things,” Gray continued.

"It’s a different type of game. The intensity, even just in training every single day would have been different for him.

Chris Mueller returned to America to join Chicago Fire earlier this week

"The challenges of being away from home and away from your normal surroundings can be difficult. It’s not as simple as just pulling on the jersey and performing.

“It wasn’t as if [the move] was done for the wrong reasons. You do these things to try and better the squad and make the club better.

“Unfortunately Chris decided that he wanted to go back, given the opportunity he had, and everyone felt that was the best thing going forward.”

His departure leaves an extra space in the squad but Hibs aren’t blessed with options in the final third.

David Gray speaks to Mueller ahead of the Scottish Premiership clash with Hearts

Winger Dan Mackay has returned from his loan with Kilmarnock and would be an obvious replacement in the first team but it is understood that the terms of his arrangement with the Rugby Park side run until the end of the month, rendering him ineligible to feature for his parent club in the final three Scottish Premiership matches.

Academy duo Murray Aiken and Jacob Blaney featured on the bench against Aberdeen with Demi Mitchell missing out despite making his comeback against Livingston. Chris Cadden remains a doubt for the final two games and long-term absentees Christian Doidge, Kyle Magennis, Kevin Nisbet, and Drey Wright also won’t kick another ball this term.