Hibs: Top ten January transfer window signings
The January transfer window came into existence in the 2002/03 season and it’s been a source of hope and frustration for football fans ever since.
Though there have been many who Hibs fans will wish no reminding of, the Easter Road club have managed to pick up quite a few gems throughout the years, as this list demonstrates.
10. Florian Kamberi
Not the most palatable of picks to kick things off. The Swiss forward has few friends around Easter Road after the way he conducted himself following his loan move to Rangers in the second half of the 2019/20 season. He didn't so much burn bridges as incinerate and then urinate on the ashes. But there's no doubt he made a huge impact in his initial half-season following his arrival on loan from St Gallen. And though he wouldn't quite match those heights after signing permanently, he did net 21 goals across the following 18 months, including key strikes against each half of the Old Firm.
9. Fraser Fyvie
Another entrant with an ignominious end after he inexplicably dragged his heels over signing a new deal, only to be told by the club to "forget it" as they ran out of patience. He had his detractors during his time in a Hibs shirt, but he was an underrated presence in the midfield, someone whose impact was often noted when he was absent. Besides, how can you argue with the inclusion of someone who played a part in Hibs winning the 2016 Scottish Cup final?
8. Scott Allan
If we're talking about Scott Allan across his entire Hibs career, all three spells, then he would rank in the top three. But his only January move came in the second half of the 2017/18 season, where he became the final piece in an exceptional midfield puzzle alongside John McGinn and Dylan McGeouch. Excellent though he was, he was forced to return to Celtic in the summer and was put in the stands for a year as an innocent casualty after the Parkhead side took the huff because Hibs wouldn't sell them McGinn for buttons.
7. Paul McGinn
Speaking of McGinns, there wasn't much fanfare when Jack Ross recruited John’s older brother in the 2020 January window. It appeared his journeyman career was petering out at the age of 29 with St Mirren when Hibs came calling. But what a signing he's turned out to be! McGinn was one of the most impressive defenders in Scotland last season as his versatility to excel either at full-back or right centre-back was crucial to the fluid structure of a Hibs team that finished third.
6. Chris Killen
Injury issues limited the Kiwi to just 32 appearances across his 18 months at Easter Road, but there's no doubting his impact when he did play with a return of 19 goals. Rejecting a bid from Hibs, Killen decided to join Celtic when his contract expired in 2007. He failed miserably before struggling at Norwich City and Middlesbrough and eventually ended up playing in the Chinese second tier. The grass isn’t always greener.
5. Chris Hogg
Initially signed in unusual circumstances as a youngster coming from Ipswich Town – he was unavailable for two months having cut an artery in his arm trying to prevent a car robbery – it took a while to establish himself in the first-team. He would eventually go on to become a dependable first-team regular at the heart of the defence, making 173 appearances across six years and, of course, helping Hibs to win the 2007 Scottish League Cup final.
4. Gary Caldwell
Another example in this running theme of impressive Hibs January signings who would ultimately become deeply unpopular with the support – signing a pre-contract with an Old Firm club while still playing for an Edinburgh one will do that to your legacy (be warned, John Souttar). Though prone to a defensive gaffe from time to time, he was an integral part of the Tony Mowbray side so beloved by the fans. Yes, he made his errors, but his abilities in playing from the back were so vital to that team.
3. Ivan Sproule
One of the most impressive signings in modern Hibs history. The Northern Irishman was recruited for just £5,000. Two-and-a-half years later he was sold to Bristol City for one-hundred times the original outlay having wowed supporters with his blistering pace and undoubted impact. Another member of the 2007 League Cup winning side, his most memorable contribution came when he announced himself to all of Scottish football with a stunning hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over Rangers at Ibrox.
2. Anthony Stokes
Aside from one game, the second of Stokes' three spells at Easter Road wasn't all that productive. He was supposed to provide the additional firepower in attack which would enable Hibs to win their battle with Rangers at the top of the second tier. Instead, he was an unnatural fit with top goalscorer Jason Cummings and Hibs' league results took a distract downturn, eventually finishing third and getting knocked out of the play-offs. But who cares about all of that? Hibs would not have won the 2016 Scottish Cup final, ending 114 years of hurt, if it hadn't been for his incredible performance. He scored twice, forced the corner for the winning goal and generally terrified the life out of the Rangers defence throughout the 90 minutes.
1. Martin Boyle
Signed on a loan swap deal for Alex Harris (that will never not be funny), Boyle was kept on as a squad player and impact sub who could scare opposing defenders with his raw speed and running ability. To begin with he didn't have much else going for him, but would ultimately come to represent one of the best examples of player improvement in Scotland over the last two decades. He’s now arguably the best player in the country outside the Old Firm.