Fraser Fyvie has claimed the arrival of John McGinn gives Hibs a midfield which will be the envy of clubs up and down the country.
Hibs forked out a six-figure sum as a “development” fee to land the 20-year-old from St Mirren. The player has been described by head coach Alan Stubbs as one of the most talented youngsters in Scotland.
McGinn watched from the stand as his new team-mates cruised into the second round of the League Cup with a 3-0 win over Montrose, two of those goals coming from players he’ll be fighting for a place against in Stubbs’ team – Scott Martin and Scott Allan – while Marvin Bartley made his debut for club.
Fyvie reckons the arrivals of Bartley and now McGinn have given Stubbs plenty of options in the middle of the park given the emergence of 18-year-old Martin and also the determination of Hibs to resist attempts by Rangers to sign Allan who was last season’s Championship player of the year.
With Sam Stanton and Alex Harris having featured in the first two games of the season despite talk of them moving out on and also Martin Boyle being close to recovering from knee surgery, Fyvie believes competition for places is going to be fierce – but it is a battle he is looking forward to. “Competition is going to be good for the squad, it’ll keep everyone on their toes fighting for their place every week.
“It’s a strong midfield. John McGinn came in on Friday. He looks sharp and hopefully he might be ready for Saturday.”
Allan, of course, has been subjected to much speculation over the past couple of weeks but, Fyvie insisted, his cameo appearance against Montrose in which he scored, his goal sandwiched between strikes by Martin and Jason Cummings, proved that his team-mate has not let the situation affect him.
He said: “I’m good friends with Scott, I speak to him every day and he is a very professional boy. He is being professional about it, the way he is going about his business every day.
“He came on and you saw what he did, what he can give this team. I thought he was great when he came on. I think any team would be lucky to have Scott because of the quality he has. You could see the cutting edge he gave us straight away.
“Any team would be lucky to have him but we have him so we are lucky.
“He’s just getting on with things. He is a footballer and it happens a lot in football so he’s just getting on with it, in training in his day-to-day life. What will be will be, but Scott is a great lad to have around the dressing-room.”
Fyvie admitted the victory over Montrose was important following the defeat by Rangers in the Petrofac Training Cup a week earlier, but insisted he and his team-mates still need to up their game.
He said: “I think in the first half we were a bit sloppy but we came out in the second and controlled the game. We expected to win, we have high standards for ourselves. It’s hard when teams come and put ten or 11 men behind the ball but it was fairly comfortable for us in the end.”