Hibs land teenage Sunderland striker in late Deadline Day swoop

Spanish centre forward bolsters attack as McKirdy heads out on loan
Eliezer Mayenda has joined Hibs on loan.Eliezer Mayenda has joined Hibs on loan.
Eliezer Mayenda has joined Hibs on loan.

Hibs beat the deadline to land teenage striker Eliezer Mayenda just before the January transfer window closed. The 18-year-old Spaniard joins on a half-season loan from Sunderland.

Mayenda, originally from Zaragoza, is a Spain Under-17 international who was French club Sochaux’s youngest ever debutant at just 16. He signed a five-year contract with Sunderland last summer, with the English club having paid a million-Euro transfer fee.

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A regular substitute for the Wearside outfit, he’s only started one game – and has yet to break his scoring duck in English football. But he’s described as a quick and direct runner who should add energy and pace to the Hibs front line. The Mayenda deal was concluded as Harry McKirdy was allowed to join Swindon on loan.

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery said: “Eliezer is a player we’ve been monitoring and once the interest came in for Harry, we had a list of potential replacements on our recruitment list. With only a few hours remaining we spoke to Sunderland, and I had a phone call with the player and club. He had a few options on the table and after a discussion with his representatives, he decided he would like to join us until the end of the season.

“He’s a powerful, attacking player with lots of energy. who can play both central and wide. At 18, he’s already played Championship football and is highly regarded at Sunderland with a big future ahead of him. He will complete our recruitment for January and add more depth and attacking options to the squad.”

Montgomery paid tribute to McKirdy, who has been working his way back to fitness following heart surgery in the summer, the gaffer saying: “Harry has worked very hard to get back on the pitch and after everything he has been through, he is now in a good place.  When the interest came for Harry, we had a good conversation and we felt that it would be a good opportunity for him to get more game-time than what was potentially on offer here.  With players coming back from international duty and injuries, this gives Harry the opportunity to push on and to come back at the end of the season with minutes under his belt at a club he is really comfortable at and grow in confidence with each game."