'Hibs will be great for him' - International boss hails Jackson Irvine as player nears Easter Road transfer
He has been linked with teams including Sheffield Wednesday but the former Kilmarnock and Ross County midfielder is understood to be on Hibs’ radar with Easter Road boss Jack Ross eyeing reinforcements in the middle of the park.
Speaking to The World Game, Arnold welcomed the Melbourne-born player’s imminent return to action.
“It’s great that he’s coming back – he captained Hull at times and was a big player for them," the Socceroos boss said.
“The fact it’s taken a long period of time to find a club just shows how tough the market is in Europe right now [in the Covid-19 era] so to get into a good club like Hibs is a great thing for him.
“It’ll be really pleasing to see him out there playing again.”
Irvine has been working hard on his fitness during his clubless period, with Australia’s strength and conditioning guru Andrew Clark tailoring a programme to suit the player.
As a result, Arnold reckons the former Scotland Under-19 internationalist won’t take long to hit the ground running.
"He has always had a great work ethic and is a top professional, and he’s been working on his programmes,” Arnold revealed.
"You’d expect him to be in quite good shape and it will just be a case of getting that match rhythm back.
"When he starts off he’ll have plenty of energy and he'll get by on that for a while.
"Hibs have been a bit inconsistent in recent weeks but other than that they have been doing well and will be fighting for a European spot.”
Arnold will be watching Irvine’s progress as he plots the Socceroos’ return to competitive matches.
He added: “I think I’ve shown a lot of confidence and belief in Jacko since I’ve been in charge.
“He scored a couple of goals against Taipei; he’s a good finisher higher up the pitch, but is very versatile and can play as a number six or a 10. He’s a very good player who’s important to us.”