Ryan Porteous seals Watford switch as Hibs back defender for success - 'We will miss him'
The 23-year-old was linked with a January exit after turning down a bumper new contract offer from the Easter Road side earlier this season and clubs from England, France, and Italy were all credited with an interest in the Scotland internationalist.
Watford jumped to the head of the queue earlier this week despite Blackburn Rovers making a move last week. Porteous played his final game for his boyhood club last weekend in the 3-0 Scottish Cup defeat by Hearts.
Hibs stand to receive more than £400,000 for the player assuming various add-ons are met, and a sell-on clause has been included as part of the deal should he move on from Watford.
Porteous made 157 appearances for Hibs in all competitions, scoring 13 goals and playing in both the League and Scottish Cup finals. He represented the club in the Europa League and Europa Conference League and won his first Scotland cap while at the club, earning the man-of-the-match award in the UEFA Nations League match with Ukraine in Poland last September. The draw ensured Steve Clarke’s side topped Group B1, secured promotion to Pool A and qualified for the Euro 2024 play-offs.
Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell praised the player’s attitude in recent weeks, saying: “Ryan has been a fantastic servant for the club and has been brilliant to deal with over the last few months. When it became clear he wanted to explore his options, we have worked hard to get the best deal for us, but also kept an eye on what is the best move for Ryan to propel his career. We’d like to wish him all the best for the future and thank him for his commitment and professionalism.”
Manager Lee Johnson added: “Ryan is a great example of how players from our excellent academy can progress into the first team and make a real difference. He has a strong will to win, and we will miss him. I have no doubt that he will go on and have a really successful career. We wish him all the best at Watford.”