Islam Feruz has promised Hibs boss Alan Stubbs he won’t let him down after the Chelsea youngster joined Dundee United’s Henri Anier in completing a transfer deadline day move to Easter Road.
Feruz and Anier have agreed season-long loan deals with the Capital outfit as Stubbs insisted they’ll add different dimensions to a Hibs strikeforce which already boasts Jason Cummings, James Keatings, Dominique Malonga and, when he has recovered from injury, Farid El Alagui.
Head coach Stubbs pulled of a major surprise in tempting 19-year-old Feruz, who began his career with Celtic, back north of the border, his arrival followed only a few hours later by confirmation that Estonian internationalist Anier will also be pulling on a Hibs shirt.
After taking Scottish football by storm – becoming the youngest ever player to be capped by Scotland at Under-21 level aged just 16 – Somalian-born Feruz has proved to be a somewhat controversial figure. His decision to move Stamford Bridge four years ago angered Celtic who had nurtured him since he was ten and had fought for him and his family –granted asylum in the UK – to remain in this country. Although undoubtedly gifted, many have questioned the youngster’s attitude, but today Feruz insisted he’s “excited” to have joined Hibs, saying: “I know they are a big club in Scotland, I cannot wait to get started.”
And asked what Stubbs had told him of the role he will play, Feruz said: “He knows my situation, he just wants to get me up and running again. I am looking forward to playing, helping the team and not letting him down.”
Feruz, who made his Scotland Under-21 debut at Easter Road, believes the presence of familiar figures such as Dylan McGeouch, James Keatings, John McGinn and Fraser Fyvie will help him settle in to his new surroundings.
He said: “I know a few of the boys from Under-21s and some from Under-19s with Scotland so I know what to expect and they know what to expect. The manager has shown faith in me and I’m looking forward to repaying it by giving 100 per cent when I’m selected.”
While Feruz was at Easter Road to complete the formalities, 24-year-old Anier was in his homeland as Estonia prepare for the next two matches in their European Championship qualifying campaign, at home to Lithuania on Saturday and away to Slovenia on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Stubbs was delighted to have captured both Feruz and the 21-times capped Anier who, having signed for United in January, has failed to make an appearance for the Tayside club this season.
He said: “Islam is another really exciting young talent, a player who has fantastic ability and potential. He will add a different dimension to the options we currently have.
“We’d like to thank Chelsea for allowing him to join us on loan, and we’re looking forward to helping him realise his undoubted potential.
“Henri will bring something different to our attacking options. He is a powerful centre-forward and will bring others in to play and complement the qualities of our other strikers.
“He knows the Scottish game and will hit the ground running. We now have strong competition for places within the team and that will bring out the best in the players that are already here.”
Meanwhile, Hibs have announced that their League Cup tie against Aberdeen will take place at Easter Road on Wednesday, September 23, with a 7.45pm kick-off.