Gael Bigirimana hasn’t seen much game time since moving to Hibs from Motherwell in January. Playing just 36 minutes for the Easter Road side since the move, he will be thrown into the deep end this weekend, for what is the biggest game of his career so far.
The midfielder is on international duty with African nation Burundi and they have the chance to create history on Saturday afternoon. They could qualify for their first ever major tournament.
Burundi are ranked 138th in the world. It would be a major success if the Swallows managed to get into the African Cup of Nations. They haven’t lost in qualifying so far, winning twice and drawing three times.
They’ll have a tough task up against Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon. Bigirimana will have a big part to play if his team are to qualify.
Bigirimana is one of the more well known players in Olivier Niyungeko’s squad. Because of this, the Hibs midfielder is looked towards for a creative spark from midfield.
Burundi’s biggest threat comes through Stoke City’s Saido Berahino. His career has been on a rocky road since leaving West Brom but he’s scored twice in his four appearances for Burundi. Hibs’ midfielder will have to provide him with service to ensure the Potters striker has something to work with.
Bigirimana on his day can be a great player in the middle. He didn’t get regular starts at Motherwell but you could see he had talent. His eye for a pass is good and is generally decent on the ball if he has a little room to work with.
Whilst we haven’t seen much of Bigirimana in Scotland during 2019, he and his teammates could be about to make footballing history in Africa. He’ll need to be on top of his game if they are to secure qualification for the African Cup of Nations.
It might even be an opportunity to showcase why he should be in the Hibs starting XI after the international break.