Hibs transfer analysis: Holding on to John McGinn is cherry on top

Hibs rejected two bids from Nottingham Forest for Scotland midfielder John McGinn. Pic: SNS
Hibs rejected two bids from Nottingham Forest for Scotland midfielder John McGinn. Pic: SNS
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Confirmation on Thursday evening that talismanic midfielder John McGinn would be staying put capped a fruitful summer transfer window for Hibs.

Had the Easter Road club lost both the Scotland internationalist and Jason Cummings within a couple of months of each other, it would have served as a disappointing and unambitious period of activity in the eyes of the support.

Losing one of their two prized assets was always likely to be deemed acceptable, however, as long as there were some high-calibre recruits to soften the blow. Hibs management have duly obliged. The sale of Cummings to Nottingham Forest was initially met with deflation and mild concern among the fanbase – indeed a period of angst lingered for a period during pre-season – but the club have worked hard to ensure the squad overall is in stronger shape than the one which finished last season.

The permanent recruitment of last season’s loan stars Ofir Marciano and Efe Ambrose can be described as coups, while Vykintas Slivka, Deivydas Matulevicius, Steven Whittaker and Anthony Stokes added further international pedigree and experience to Lennon’s squad. Brandon Barker and Danny Swanson should offer some stardust as the season unfolds, while Simon Murray has already done plenty to suggest he will be a shrewd addition in attack.

These new recruits should ensure the voids left by the likes of Grant Holt, James Keatings, Fraser Fyvie, Chris Humphrey and Andrew Shinnie are adequately filled. In addition, Hibs also offloaded out-of-favour Brian Graham to Cheltenham Town plus a batch of homegrown young players - Sam Stanton (albeit on loan), Jordon Forster, Danny Handling and Alex Harris - who promised much when they broke through prior to relegation in 2014 but had ultimately been unable to command regular game time as Hibs bolstered the squad significantly in the more recent Championship years.

There was no last-day panic-buying at Easter Road, which underlines a contentment with a transfer window which has left the team, on paper at least, in good shape for the remaining rigours of the Premiership season. It could yet be strengthened further if Kris Commons, currently a free agent after leaving Celtic, is able to rediscover an adequate level of fitness to earn himself a contract in the coming months.