Jamie Maclaren has revealed he would be keen to make his move to Hibs permanent, but the Australian striker admits that ultimately it will be up to his parent club SV Darmstadt to decide if he will be allowed to do so.
The 24-year-old has played a big part in helping the Easter Road side force their way back into the race for second place since arriving in January on loan until the end of the season.
Three goals in nine appearances – including a derby strike against Hearts last month – as well as a string of lively performances in attack have endeared him to the Hibs support and manager Neil Lennon. The move has worked out well for both player and club after Maclaren had become disillusioned at his lack of game time with German second-tier side SV Darmstadt in the first half of the season. The former Brisbane Roar forward has been revitalised by his move to Easter Road and would like to extend his stay in the Capital.
“You’ve got to be happy off the field and with my dad being from Edinburgh and the fact I have family and friends here, it’s a place where I’m comfortable,” he told the Evening News. “My fiancée is comfortable here as well. It’s a massive club with a fantastic fanbase in a beautiful city. Right now Hibs is the main team in Edinburgh so there’s no reason why I wouldn’t want to stay. Ultimately it’s not really my decision as we speak right now. All I can do is focus on putting in good performances to help this team be successful and see what happens.”
Maclaren remains contracted to Darmstadt until 2020, but was disappointed with the way his early months in Germany panned out as he struggled to command game time and was used in midfield by his parent club’s previous manager, Torsten Frings. The Australian internationalist declared that he is “smelling something special” with Hibs and wants to remain part of it, but he explained that the fact Darmstadt’s new manager, Dirk Schuster, was keen to utilise him in his preferred position just before he moved to Edinburgh could prove a complication.
“It could be an option,” said Maclaren when asked if there was a chance of him remaining at Hibs beyond the end of this season. “Hibs would obviously have to show that they wanted to keep me, but it’s probably not even mine or Hibs’ decision – ultimately it’s my German club’s decision.
“I think the new manager would like to keep me there. When I said I wanted to go on loan in January, they dragged their heels a bit because they wanted to keep me. The new manager said he saw something in me which the previous manager didn’t and he wanted to play me up front, but by then the damage was already done mentally. I saw Hibs as the perfect place to come and get my head space right and it’s turned out to be exactly the type of move I wanted.”