Hibs boss: We did not hijack Glenn Middleton transfer

Paul Heckingbottom says Hibs did nothing underhand in persuading Glenn Middleton to agree a season-long loan deal.

Saturday, 17th August 2019, 6:30 am
Updated Saturday, 17th August 2019, 7:30 am
Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom takes a training session

The Rangers youngster had been poised to join Dutch outfit NAC Breda under a similar agreement but decided to remain in the Premiership after hearing of Hibs’ interest, prompted by the loss of Martin Boyle for the next few months following a second knee operation.

So keen was the 19-year-old to make the switch that he took the unusual step of calling Heckingbottom direct. However, while delighted to have snapped up the Scotland Under-21 winger, the Hibs head coach, when remarking on Middleton’s unconventional approach, said: “We were well down the road so we were always going to have the conversation. We made sure we did everything right with Rangers. We knew there was a chance, we spoke to the player’s agent, Graeme (Mathie, head of recruitment) got in touch with the guys at Rangers and I knew Steven (Gerrard).

“There was nothing underhand in terms of trying to hijack another deal.”

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Heckingbottom says Middleton should not be considered a “like for like” replacement for Australian internationalist Boyle.

“That’s the wrong term. Boyler’s got more than just his football, it’s his character about the place as well. So it’s not a like for like, but the attributes. We’ve lost pace with losing Boyler but we’ve brought pace back in so in terms of the balance that’s good. Glenn’s been impressive and everyone speaks well of him, how he wants to learn, stay behind and do extra. That came across when we had the chat. We’ll push him on and hopefully he can show more than glimpses of how good he is.”