Who is new Hibs defender Kosovar Sadiki?

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Eagle-eyed Hibs fans may have noticed an unfamiliar face training with the squad at East Mains in recent weeks. Here’s all you need to know about Kosovar Sadiki...

Born in Germany, Sadiki and his parents moved to Canada when he was less than a year old, to Ontario. Sadiki’s first involvement in football was with local side Kitchener SC before he joined Stoke City’s youth set-up in late 2014.

Kosovar Sadiki, centre, is put through his paces with the Hibs squad at East Mains. Picture: SNS Group

Kosovar Sadiki, centre, is put through his paces with the Hibs squad at East Mains. Picture: SNS Group

Sadiki featured a handful of times for Stoke City Under-23s, and in early 2016 joined Stafford Town on a short-term loan deal.

He had a trial spell with Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 2016 after his involvement in a national team camp.

In January 2017, QPR took him on trial again while Port Vale ran the rule over him in March. He was eventually released by the Potters in the summer, joining Hartlepool on trial before spending time with Hajduk Split’s B team.

Sadiki played 20 minutes of a friendly match against Bosnian side Vitez in October, catching the eye during his short spell on the pitch.

Croatian side NK Lokomotiva, based in Zagreb, unveiled Sadiki as a new signing in February 2018 but by late October he was appearing for Bury as a trialist.

In December 2018 he joined Hibs on a trial basis, and featured for the reserve side in a number of matches, with his transfer from NK Lokomotiva being completed on transfer deadline day last month.

Sadiki is eligible to play for Canada, Albania, Kosovo and Germany. He featured for Canada Under-23s in March 2017, playing in the Qatar Aspire U-23 Tournament - which the Canucks won - and was called up by the Under-21s for the Festival International Espoirs Provence in June last year.

He’ll have a couple of friends across the city in maroon, having featured in Canada underage squads with Hearts duo Marcus Godinho and Dario Zanatta, as well as former Jambo and current Ross County midfielder Harry Paton, who was born and brought up in Kitchener.

Reports last month suggested the 20-year-old had pledged his allegiance to Albania after knocking back an approach from Kosovo (his father’s birthplace), despite his previous involvement with the Canucks.

A tall, powerful centre-half, the 6ft 4in Sadiki can operate as either a right or left centre-back in a back four, or as part of a back three. His technical ability has been praised by managers and pundits alike, while his no-nonsense approach to matches and ability to compete with much older players has also been highlighted by coaches and commentators.

Sadiki is currently playing for Hibs’ development side in the SPFL Reserve League, and played the full 90 minutes against Aberdeen and Dundee earlier this month.