'We'll have one of everything' - the lengthy Hibs shopping list as January sales open

Monty wants four in to strengthen spine of team
Head coach is eager to reinforce squad.Head coach is eager to reinforce squad.
Head coach is eager to reinforce squad.

It might be easier and quicker to provide a list of what Hibs DON’T need during this mid-season transfer window. But that doesn’t mean the Easter Road club will get everything they want before the end of January.

Nick Montgomery has spoken publicly about his desire add at least four new faces to his first-team squad over the course of the month. And, like every other manager in football, he’d prefer to get any business done as early as possible.

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But Monty knows that this is a brute of a market. A lot of the players available, for loan or sale, simply haven’t been playing much football. Which means they’ll need a mini preseason before being match sharp. That won’t work for a Hibs team in need of players capable of making an immediate impact.

Do you take a Premier League academy player on his first proper loan experience? Or look to grab a more experienced campaigner in search of a new challenge? All questions to be answered, usually under intense pressure.

And what about money? While Montgomery insists they can’t spend any of billionaire investor Bill Foley’s cash before that deal is finalised, Hibs have just pocketed a near-seven figure profit on Elias Melkersen. But is it worth paying the inevitable premium attached to any genuinely valuable player just to get him now?

Here’s where Hibs need to strengthen. It’s a long list.


Assuming Will Fish isn’t recalled by Manchester United to be loaned out elsewhere, Monty at least has someone to build his back four around. But the depth chart at centre half is pretty shallow.

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Even before Rocky Bushiri flew off to the Africa Cup of Nations, the Democratic Republic of Congo defender was fighting for game time with club captain Paul Hanlon. The skipper is only 33 but clearly isn’t considered a certain starter by Montgomery, who obviously harbours almost as many concerns about Bushiri. Riley Harbottle is completely out of contention, in case you were wondering.

Fish is manning a thin green line at moment.Fish is manning a thin green line at moment.
Fish is manning a thin green line at moment.

Solid enough in the fullback positions, with Jordan Obita, Lewis Stevenson, Lewis Miller (currently on Socceroos duty) and young Rory Whittaker all capable of contributing, the long-awaited return from injury of Chris Cadden will give Hibs another option. But they will surely land at least one centre-half – preferably left-sided and comfortable on the ball, although that’s the Holy Grail in any market – before the window closes. Fish needs a reliable partner who can adapt to Monty’s style. Or it’s going to be a very long second half of the season.


Nobody will be surprised if a central midfielder arrives at East Mains over the coming weeks. Not because Joe Newell and Dylan Levitt are struggling terribly. But they are carrying a heavy burden.

Newell has become the stand-in captain whenever Hanlon is missing. And he’s played generally well. But he needs this mid-season break more than most. Levitt, having ousted Jimmy Jeggo from the starting XI, has yet to convince everyone.

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Jake Doyle-Hayes is on the way back from injury but, having been sidelined with a complicated ankle problem, there isn’t a definitive timescale on his return to action. Hibs really just need a centre mid who can bring athleticism and tactical nous – plus an understanding of the need to move the ball quickly – in the role. At least until such time as an academy player, potentially Rudi Molotnikov, can be relied upon as a regular.


Dylan Vente looked absolutely drained, physically and emotionally, long before he was replaced in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Motherwell. The £900,000 summer signing is clearly struggling for confidence, and possibly feeling the effects of his first half season in a more demanding role – and a physically punishing league.

With Martin Boyle on international duty, Harry McKirdy still some way short of match fitness and Adam Le Fondre on the sidelines, Vente has been asked to play more as a link man of late. Which means much more off-the-ball running for a player who comes alive in the penalty box.

Vente needs some support ASAP.Vente needs some support ASAP.
Vente needs some support ASAP.

Christian Doidge, making a rare start, actually provided a decent foil for the Hibs attack in Tuesday’s game. There is genuine optimism, within the football department, about Josh Landers becoming a striker capable of producing in the senior game.

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Even allowing for the fact that proven goal scorers are rarities at the best of times, never mind halfway through a season, Hibs won’t want to go much beyond their January 20 Scottish Cup tie away to Forfar without adding a striker to the squad. Only just inside the top six but with ambitions to qualify for Europe again, they’ll need more firepower to realise those hopes – preferably in time for the visit of Rangers on January 24.

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