Hibs transfer deals done - Nathan Wood loan confirmed as other moves near completion
Hibs have completed the loan signing of English centre-back Nathan Wood.
The 19-year-old, who has represented England at under-15s all the way through to U-20 level, will join the Easter Road club for the remainder of the season.
A “lightning quick” defender, according to former coach Jonathan Woodgate, he provides youthful competition at the heart of the Hibs backline.
Up in Edinburgh to complete his medical and take in the Hibs victory over Livingston at the weekend, Hibs boss Jack Ross spoke highly of the player who is a product of the Boro academy but has previously been the subject of a £9million bid from Burnley.
“We’re delighted to bring a young player of Nathan’s quality in on loan,” said head coach Jack Ross, who admitted that the promising youngster was high on his wishlist when quizzed about him after Saturday’s victory, which kept Hibs at the top of the Premiership.
“It’s been no secret that we wanted to strengthen our defensive area and he will certainly do that; he’s a really good player with a big future ahead of him.
“He will join up with the group after his international duty with England’s youth set up and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
With pace, composure and an obvious athleticism, he has also been linked with Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham but Middlesbrough have been keen to hold onto their young asset.
Manager Neil Warnock does see value in a loan spell, and the hope of regular first team football, in the Scottish top flight, though.
“I was speaking with the manager and from the first five or 10 minutes, I got a good feeling straight away about the plans, the squad, the facilities and the fans,” said Wood, who is the son of former Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough defender Dean Gordon. “My gut told me that this was the right move for me, and I wanted to get it done.
“It’s something out of my comfort zone, but that’s what excited me about it. I see it as a real challenge.”
Hibs have also completed a deal that will add cover in goals, with David Mitchell, of Clyde, reportedly agreeing a two-year deal. He arrives as the third-choice keeper behind Matt Macey and Kevin Dabrowski.
And, there is the hope that more business will be concluded before the transfer window closes tonight.
The Easter Road club are still working diligently to add greater depth in the forwards areas, following the Achilles injury to regular first-team striker Christian Doidge, which could keep him out until at least December, and the disappointing recurrence of Jamie Murphy’s hamstring injury.
Until they add extra cover in that area they are unenthusiastic about allowing the likes of Jamie Gullan to move on, although it is known that a couple of clubs have expressed an interest in the 22 year-old, who has played just six minutes for the Leith side this season and spent much of the past couple of years on loan to Raith Rovers.