Oli Shaw made his full Hibs first-team breakthrough last season. He clearly has potential, but perhaps he could be doing with a loan move so that he can fully realise it.
He made 35 appearances in total for the Easter Road side. That’s excellent for a 20-year-old having to deal with the responsibility of performing well at one Scotland’s biggest clubs.
Shaw is a direct forward who brings a physical presence to the forward line when on the park. Given the arrival of Christian Doidge, and no doubt others will be looked at too, Shaw may see his gametime limited next term.
Could a loan move help make him an even better player long-term?
Long-term benefit for Shaw and Hibs
Shaw at one point last season was the Hibees’ top scorer in the league. Despite that, he could still be doing with a loan move.
He will play at Easter Road next season, to some extent. He’ll be behind Doidge and Florian Kamberi in the pecking order though, plus any other striker that may come in.
Under Paul Heckingbottom so far, Shaw hasn’t scored a single goal and hasn’t started a game. The most he’s been out on the park for is 26 minutes in an away fixture against Dundee in February.
The forward has undoubted potential but Heckingbottom clearly doesn’t fancy him as much as Neil Lennon did.
Who could he go to then? For me, he has to stay in the Premiership. He’s too good for the Championship and it wouldn’t be testing. Perhaps playing every week for a side like Livingston or St Mirren would aid his development.
He’d play every week and more likely than not, score a decent amount of goals.
Shaw has to think long-term and so do Hibs. Do you keep your promising forward on the bench with cameo appearances or do you get him out to play every week at the same level? It’s a no-brainer.
Heckingbottom should consider loaning Shaw out this transfer window.