Hibs transfer news state of play on deadline day as ‘would be surprising’ verdict made
Hibs transfer news latest on deadline day as the club looks light in certain key areas ahead of midnight
and live on Freeview channel 276
Hibs are into the final day of the summer transfer window without a manager and 48 hours before a crucial cinch Premiership game against Aberdeen.
The Easter Road side has struggled in the past at Pittodrie and if they taste defeat in the north-east they will have lost their first four league fixtures. At least then they would have the international break to regroup and recover but a victory would be the morale booster everyone at the club so desperately needs.
So far the club has signed two goalkeepers in Max Boruc and Jojo Wollacott; a centre-back in Riley Harbottle and the acquisition of Will Fish on another season-long loan deal; a left-sided defender/midfielder in Jordan Obita; a deep-lying playmaker in Dylan Levitt; Adam Le Fondre, an experienced penalty-box striker, and Kevin Nisbet replacement Dylan Vente.
Perhaps the pick of the new business was the signing of Vente. Hibs needed a striker capable of replacing Nisbet, and shelled out £700,000 – a transfer fee taken care of by the Gordons to avoid eating into the player budget too much.
But with the deadline drawing ever closer Hibs still look a little light in some areas. An attacking player capable of covering either flank would be a smart addition, and Jamal Lowe has been mentioned as one possibility although there are a few options on the club’s radar.
Supporters have been calling for another centre-back, another midfielder different to the current crop, and potentially a left-back as well. Lee Johnson was happy to go with four centre-halves in his first-team squad but a new manager may want to change that. A number ten might help in the final third – Ewan Henderson was allowed to head on loan to KV Oostende, perhaps with a view to a playmaker arriving before the deadline. Obita and Lewis Stevenson can play left-back but there are questions over the suitability of both for the role but perhaps a new manager with a fresh approach might reinvigorate players in certain positions.
At this late stage in the window any incomings may be loan deals, unless recruitment chief Brian McDermott can pull a couple of rabbits out of the hat. It would be surprising if Hibs didn’t add to their squad before midnight on Friday. This time last year they completed three late deals for Fish, Mykola Kukharevych, and Harry McKirdy.
Could we see late drama again this time around, even without a manager in place? It’s worth remembering Johnson was in hospital on deadline day last year and the deals were still done, so the lack of a permanent boss may not have too much of an impact.
Hibs are still in both domestic cups and with a ‘new manager bounce’ could climb their way out of the drop zone and kickstart their league campaign. But there is a feeling that one or two additions could make the difference. It would be a surprise to see any more outgoings from the first team, and not at all surprising to see perhaps two new recruits.
The big question is for what positions. A playmaker feels badly needed. But the other position, especially at this late stage, might be more a case of making do with what they can get, rather than what they need.