Hibs boss Neil Lennon has revealed he’s been a fan of Manchester City winger Brandon Barker since his days as manager of Bolton Wanderers having once tried to sign the 20-year-old for the Trotters.
Lennon has snapped up the youngster on a season-long deal, disclosing that striker Brian Graham’s departure to Cheltenham Town had freed up his budget to further strengthen his squad.
He said: “I watched Brandon in Under-21 games with Manchester City and he was exceptional as a youth. I tried to get him in when I was at Bolton.
“He was on loan at Rotherham for a while then he had a year at NAC Breda in Holland and helped them get promoted. We were looking for someone to compliment Martin Boyle and when his name cropped up we moved very quickly on it.
“He is a very good player and I hope he showcases his talent here.”
Lennon is confident that Barker, capped by England at Under-18, 19 and 20 level, will not only add an extra dimension to his squad but ultimately return to the Etihad a better player thanks to his time at Easter Road.
He said: “This is a very good environment for him and a very good fit. I want to send him back to Man City a better and more experienced player.
“His job is to contribute to the team and be successful. He is a very exciting talent, he can eliminate people and I think he has a goal in him.
“He is quick so I think he needs regular football and he will be challenging to get that here.”
Barker himself can’t wait to get started at Easter Road. He said: “It feels great and I can’t wait to get playing football again. It’s a great club and a great city to be in, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“The manager said that it is a good place for me to come and carry on learning my trade and that it is a great platform for me to come and show everyone what I can do.
“He believes in me, so hopefully I can make everyone else believe in me.”