Sporting Lisbon midfielder Ryan Gauld completes loan move to Hibs

Ryan Gauld has spent spells on loan while on the books of Sporting Lisbon. Pic: Global Media Group/Sipa USA/REX/Shutterstock
Ryan Gauld has spent spells on loan while on the books of Sporting Lisbon. Pic: Global Media Group/Sipa USA/REX/Shutterstock
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Hibs have completed the loan signing of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Ryan Gauld until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old Scot had been on the verge of agreeing a move from the Portuguese giants since late last week but, following delays with paperwork, the Easter Road club have only this evening got the deal over the line.

Gauld joined the Hibs squad at their winter training camp in Dubai during the week but was unable to play as they wrapped up their seven-day stay with a 1-0 win against local side Al-Wasl as the finishing touches were still being put to the paperwork required to give his move the green light.

Now his move has been completed, Gauld can’t wait to get started.

“I felt like it was the right time to come to Scotland and it’s the first time since I left that I’ve felt that,” he told the Hibs website.

“Hibs represented the best opportunity for me with the way the team likes to play. It’s the best fit for me.

“In the last couple of years, Hibs have taken on a lot of young boys and given them a platform to go and show what they can do with the likes of John McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Scott Allan.

“It’s a great club to play for, one of the biggest in Scotland, and I’m just looking forward to getting started.

“Hopefully, we can push Hibs back into the top six, where we belong, and then even further into the top four.

“I’ve been welcomed by the supporters online. I’m willing to work hard for the team, give everything I’ve got and hopefully learn the words to Sunshine on Leith...”

Hibs boss Neil Lennon, who hopes to make further signings in the coming days, is excited about the prospect of having Gauld in his midfield.

He said: “For me, he looks to be coming back as a more rounded player. His knowledge of the Scottish game will stand him in good stead and I hope he’ll be able to hit the ground running but he’s better equipped than he was at 17.

“Tactically, Ryan’s very flexible. He can play on the right, the left or off the striker. He can play deeper in midfield if he wants but where we really want to see the best of him is in the final third. Ryan’s got good vision and sees things quickly. He’s got good football intelligence and we want to utilise that.”