Hibs boss Lee Johnson hails Elias Melkersen after Portugal showing and sets targets for forward

Hibs boss Lee Johnson insists Elias Melkersen is the type of player he would build from scratch, if it was possible.

Speaking after the Norwegian forward netted a brace in the 4-2 pre-season friendly victory over Burton Albion in Portugal last week, the Easter Road boss was virtually purring with satisfaction at his performance.

“He’s a lovely mover. If I could build a 5ft 11in centre forward/wide man, it would be him in terms of the fluidity of his mobility.

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"He makes good darting runs and is the type of player as a midfielder I’d have liked to play with because you feel he is always on the move.”

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Despite Melkersen’s double – a neat close-range effort set up by Josh Campbell and a daisy-cutter from the edge of the area assisted by compatriot Runar Hauge – Johnson has challenged the 19-year-old to keep working hard.

“There are still a few bits to improve in terms of that receiving rapport that he has with the midfield, but he is a really good character,” he added.

"I think he will be an easy one to work with and try to improve."

Elias Melkersen scored a brace in Hibs' 4-2 pre-season win against Burton Albion. Picture: Craig Foy / SNS Group

The Hibs boss contacted the striker ahead of the training camp in the Algarve to discuss how he planned to utilise the former Bodø/Glimt youngster this season.

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“I rang him earlier in the summer and said he will need to be flexible. Whether it’s from the left, right, or up top I like his attributes but there are other players in the squad.

"He will get more game time by having that growth mindset and appreciating the different roles within the team for various games.”