Whilst Hibs’ backline have been brilliant in recent months, it isn’t getting younger. The likes of Darren McGregor and David Gray are into their 30s now and will slowly begin to play less matches per season. That’s why Hibees manager Paul Heckingbottom should move for Sheffield United defender Ben Heneghan.
The former Motherwell centre-half has been on loan at Blackpool this season, becoming one of the Seasiders’ better players.
His parent club Sheffield United though have transfer listed him, following their promotion to the Premier League. This isn’t a reflection on Heneghan’s ability though. The club he is contracted to just now have came on leaps and bounds under Chris Wilder, leaving the big centre-half out in the cold.
The Englishman is a brilliant defender and Hibs would be a perfect home for him.
Heneghan could be a long-term replacement for McGregor
The former Steelman has plenty of good traits. Brilliant in the air, physically strong, great in the tackle and can also move the ball a bit too. With the style of Heckingbottom’s play, a defender who can play out from the back is ideal.
He was excellent for Motherwell and the club may rue the fact they only had him for a year. He made 41 appearances for them, proving to be a defensive rock. This season at Blackpool he played a big part in what was the joint sixth best defence in League One, racking up 14 clean sheets in 42 appearances.
McGregor will be 34 in August, so the Hibs legend perhaps won’t be able to play a full card of games. Given his injury history as well, having someone like Heneghan about the place to challenge for his spot would be a real positive.
Alongside the returning Ryan Porteous, Heneghan could form a defensive partnership that could last years. He is only 25 and alongside Porteous, once Paul Hanlon and McGregor take a backseat, the defender could form a brilliant pairing with the Hibs youngster.
As he still has a year on his deal, Heneghan will cost Hibs some funds. If the club have money to play with though, the Blades defender would be a shrewd acquisition. There will be other clubs interested after a stellar season in League One, but the promise of being a Hibs mainstay for many years could swing it for the Easter Road side.
The Hibees could do with a defender this summer and Heneghan is a safe bet you can’t go far wrong with.