Hibs form puts Stephane Omeonga on brink of Euros dream

Stephane Omeonga has become a favourite with the Hibs fans
Stephane Omeonga has become a favourite with the Hibs fans
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Stephane Omeonga is on the cusp of realising his European Under-21 Championship dream thanks to his loan spell at Easter Road.

The midfielder arrived in Edinburgh during the January transfer window from Italian Serie A outfit Genoa where he had found game time increasingly hard to come by.

He made no secret of the fact he hoped his time with Hibs would help win him a place in Belgium’s Under-21 squad for this summer’s finals in Italy, a move which appears to have paid off.

Recalled to the international set-up for a friendly away to Denmark, Omeonga has been named by coach Johan Walem for the Belgians’ last warm-up match against France on June 4 before the final squad will be announced ahead of going to Italy where they’ll face Poland, Spain and the host nation.

And Omeonga has little doubt his 17 matches in a green-and- white shirt as he helped the Capital club climb from eighth place to fifth under new coach Paul Heckingbottom – who still hopes to have both him and striker Marc McNulty back at Easter Road for next season – were key to his inclusion.

He said: “When I went back to Belgium the manager told me he has watched all the games I have played. That was a big boost for my confidence. My time at Hibs was just wonderful. Scotland has changed me, I have learned a lot of things and I was happy to come here.

“It’s another style of football, and experience as a player and person I can take on. I was just disappointed I could not score for the team, adding that and more assists will come but I will work on it.

“I have to thank the fans for the love they showed me, the messages on social media and how they reacted to us winning the derby at Tynecastle was wonderful. It was the best memory of my time at Hibs.”