Hibs coach backs Dylan Vente to have same impact as 29-goal fellow countryman

Dylan Vente can have just as big an impact in Scottish football as fellow countryman Kevin van Veen, believes Hibs coach David Gray.
Kevin van Veen in action against Hibs for Motherwell towards the end of last season. Picture: SNSKevin van Veen in action against Hibs for Motherwell towards the end of last season. Picture: SNS
Kevin van Veen in action against Hibs for Motherwell towards the end of last season. Picture: SNS

The Dutchman made an ideal start to life at Easter Road on Thursday evening, scoring on his debut as Hibs defeated Luzern 3-1 at Easter Road in the first leg of their Uefa Conference League third-qualifying round clash.

Vente was recruited last month for a £700,000 fee from Roda JC and big things are expected of the 24-year-old. He would do well to match the output from Van Veen, who departed Motherwell earlier this summer for Groningen after scoring 29 goals for the Steelmen last term, including netting in 11 consecutive matches to end the season and set a new club record at Fir Park.

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It will be a tall order for Vente to reach those sort of numbers in his maiden campaign in Edinburgh, but if Thursday night’s performance is anything to go by then he’ll have the capability to do so – especially if he’s continuously handed quality chances like the one strike-partner Adam Le Fondre provided against Luzern.

“Absolutely,” said Gray when asked if he could match Van Veen. “He’s started really well with a goal on his debut. That’s why he’s been brought to the football club, to kick on and try to make us more successful. That’s why the investment has been made and we’re hoping it’s a really good signing. It’s someone else to add strength and depth to a squad that’s already a very good one.

“Every player playing for a club like Hibs have expectation on them. It’s such a big club with a great fanbase so the expectation is always there.

“You mentioned how well Dylan did on Thursday, but to a man I thought we were fantastic. To single anyone out would be unfair to the rest of the squad and those who contributed.

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“Dylan scores and gets a goal on his debut, but I thought his work rate was fantastic as well.

“We’re in a good place at the moment. The feel good factor from last night, it’s important we keep that going.”