Flo Kamberi has revealed he is desperate to renew the lethal goal-scoring partnership with Jamie Maclaren that fired Hibs into Europe.
Kamberi and Maclaren arrived at Easter Road during the January transfer window with a point to prove, the Swiss striker frozen out at Grasshopper Zurich, while the Australian hitman had seen a move to German side Darmstadt turn sour.
They both made the most of their loan spells in Edinburgh, the pair plundering 17 goals between them with a final day hat-trick from Maclaren as Neil Lennon’s team enjoyed an epic 5-5 draw with Rangers to earn him a last-gasp place in the Socceroos World Cup squad.
But while Kamberi has returned to the Capital on a three-year deal, Maclaren’s future remains uncertain, although the player has made it clear to Darmstadt he’s become so unhappy in Germany that he doesn’t want to return.
However, he has two years remaining on his contract there and although Hibs put a cut-price deal in place to bring Kamberi back to lead the line, they are likely to face demands for a hefty fee if they are to pursue a similar outcome for Maclaren.
Kamberi, though, is in no doubt that teaming up with his good pal would help Lennon’s side build on finishing fourth in the Premiership after a three-year absence and qualifying for the Europa League.
He said: “It would be great if Jamie came back because I scored nine and he scored eight, the partnership was very good for us and the club.
“He didn’t enjoy his time at Darmstadt and I didn’t enjoy my time at Grasshopper, but we had a good time together in Edinburgh and for him it would also be a great opportunity to come here again and play for the whole season, score many goals together and be successful for the team.”
Kamberi revealed the close friendship he has built with Maclaren who, like himself, arrived at Easter Road as an unknown only to quickly become firm favourites with the fans, the pair having met up on holiday in Dubai.
He said: “I was in my hotel when Jamie called to ask what it was like. Three days later he phoned again and told me, ‘I am here’. We had dinner, but we didn’t speak a lot about football because speaking about it every day on holiday is too much.
“But we spoke a little and hopefully he will be back.”
While he has his fingers crossed that Maclaren will return, Kamberi admitted he’s also hoping to see John McGinn in a green-and-white jersey again next season despite intense speculation regarding the midfielder’s future as he moves into the last year of his Hibs contract with Celtic, Derby and Birmingham City all said to be interested.
The 23-year-old said: “John is a great player. I enjoyed last season playing with him. He is very strong physically and personally I hope he will stay here. It is important for a striker to have a player like him in midfield, someone who gives key passes.
“But John has to decide with his agent and family what is best for him.”