Lewis Stevenson can be Hibs’ first-choice left-back for years to come, according to the man who had to leave Easter Road after being unable to remove him from the team.
Callum Crane hoped to complete the journey from youth ranks to first team but was left frustrated after being unable to dislodge the consistent and ultra-durable Stevenson from a position he has made his own under both Alan Stubbs and Neil Lennon over the past four years.
The 22-year-old decided in January that he would have to leave Hibs this summer after seeing no sign of the long-serving 30-year-old’s form or fitness levels waning. After signing for Livingston on a two-year deal this week, Crane paid tribute to Stevenson’s professionalism and backed the new Scotland cap to remain the Hibs left-back well into his 30s.
“Since I went in full-time at Hibs, he was always the left-back in front of me and so I’ve always watched him closely and tried to mirror him,” said Crane. “He’s played in the Premiership for years. Left-back’s a position that teams often struggle to fill but Hibs have got one who’s been there for over ten years and he’s very consistent. Hibs are lucky to have him. If any young kid wants to see a true professional, it’s him. He’s in great shape, he’s never injured and he trains every day. He’ll go on for another few years yet.”