Jamie Maclaren paid tribute to the Hibs support as he revealed the fans played a big part in his decision to return to the Capital club on a season-long loan from SV Darmstadt 98.
The Australian striker, who could be involved on Sunday when Hibs take on Motherwell in the Ladbrokes Premiership opener, admitted it had been hard to ignore the passion of the Easter Road faithful.
Speaking to Hibs TV, Maclaren said: “The fans played a big part in me coming back. My social media was blowing up and, as a player, it’s nice to be wanted.
“They have been on at me since the break, and when the fans say, ‘Please come back, you’re loved’, you sit back and think, I’m actually valued here.
“They know what I can bring, I know what they can bring on a weekend, playing in front of them and scoring in front of them.
The 25-year-old, who scored eight goals in 15 appearances for Neil Lennon’s side in the second half of last season, said he was proud to have sealed a return to Edinburgh.
“I really enjoyed last season, and having that taste of success, and now the decision has been made I’m just glad I’ve signed the deal,” he continued.
“I think I know what I get from this club, and having a manager like Neil Lennon who backs me, and backs every player in the squad - that’s who you want to play for.”
Maclaren’s partnership with Florian Kamberi was cited as a major factor in Hibs’ post-January form last season, with the pair scoring 17 goals between them, including a hat-trick apiece.
Admitting he was looking forward to linking up with the Swiss striker once more, Maclaren added: “I’m looking forward to seeing all the boys.
“I made some really good friends here and it’s a great dressing room, and a real club that feels like a family.”
Maclaren’s involvement in the Australia squad during the World Cup in Russia earned him a longer summer break but, having been back in pre-season training with his parent club for the best part of a fortnight, he feels ready to contribute - on league duty and in Europe.
“With the World Cup, I had a bit of an extra break but I’ve been training for close to two weeks now and getting up to scratch,” he explained.
“I’ve played two 60 minutes, but I just want to make sure when I do enter the field, if selected, that I’m ready to contribute with goals and good appearances.
“The boys are doing well in the Europa League now and that’s something I want to be part of. They’ve had some great results [in Europe] but it doesn’t surprise me.
“As a player, you want to be part of these things and I couldn’t wait to get over here and sign the deal.
“Hopefully I’ll be involved on Sunday. It’s a team effort to do what we did last year, we need to be proud of those achievements but I think we can go that one better and I’m just glad I can try and contribute.”