Revealed: Hibs fans’ player of the season so far

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Hibs fans have had their say on the club’s player of the season so far with one individual garnering nearly 40 per cent of the vote.

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Stevie Mallan has been voted Hibs player of the season so far with Efe Ambrose second. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker

Stevie Mallan has been voted Hibs player of the season so far with Efe Ambrose second. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker

Midfielder Stevie Mallan was the clear winner, with 39 per cent of the nearly 1,800 voters opting for the team’s top goalscorer.

The summer signing from Barnsley won the vote by 16 per cent from Efe Ambrose with Martin Boyle, David Gray and Ryan Porteous picking up nine, eight and six per cent respectively.

Having netted nine goals in all competitions already - the same number as John McGinn, Scott Allan and Dylan McGeouch combined scored last season - Mallan has put his case across for becoming the club’s talisman.

Hibs boss Neil Lennon had clearly eyed Mallan as someone he wanted to mould into a key player. He has started every game this season.

Hibs' five best players of the season so far as voted for by Evening News readers. Picture: Infogram

Hibs' five best players of the season so far as voted for by Evening News readers. Picture: Infogram

The 22-year-old was largely thought of as a No.10 when he arrived at Easter Road. But under Lennon he has been played in a deeper role, more involved and with more responsibility.

Having come through the youth system at St Mirren, naturally there were going to be comparisons to McGinn. The pair actually started the season together suggesting they could be a fearsome duo in the middle of the park.

Yet, with McGinn departing for Aston Villa there may have been many expecting Mallan to step into his void. That wasn’t the most realistic of expectations, the duo are different types of midfielders.

The No.14 is not as all-action as McGinn, preferring to support play as a No.8, passing regularly into the final third. He is also a constant threat shooting from open play and set pieces.

No player has hit more than Mallan’s 21 shots from outside the box - the second most is 12 from Hearts’ Olly Lee - and he has provided two assists from corner kicks.

It has been a positive start for Mallan who will likely kick on further once Lennon’s fields his strongest midfield on a consistent basis.

As for Ambrose, the Nigerian had his moments during the first few games of the season. He, like the rest of the Hibs defence, will want to forget the evening in the Faroe Islands against Runavik in the Europa League, while he had a trying first-half in the 3-2 home win over Asteras Tripolis.

He has been a consistent presence in the heart of the Hibs defence, certainly in recent weeks as part of a back four.

The 29-year-old has moments throughout the season, Lennon has admitted as such, but he is still one of the better defenders in the country.

He is proactive and his approach is balanced out by a stopper like Porteous or Darren McGregor. He ranks third in the league for interceptions, while no player outside of Celtic has passed the ball more, and with an impressive 90.83 per cent success rate.

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