With the end of the season approaching, so too is the transfer window. Plenty of teams are already preparing for next year, with Hibs seemingly one of them if their Portuguese trip is anything to go by.
Hibs scouts traveled to Portugal according to A Bola for Primeira Liga action, watching Benfica’s 4-2 victory over Vitoria De Setubal.
It’s unclear who they were there to watch, but the Hibees obviously have their eye on someone. With that in mind, NTOF has reviewed both teams, and identified three players who the Easter Road side may have been there to watch.
Hildeberto Pereira- Vitoria De Setubal
A well known face in Nottingham, the versatile Portuguese utility man has been at Vitoria since the summer. Hildeberto Pereira used to be at Nottingham Forest, having previously been at Benfica, Legia Warszawa and Northampton Town.
He penned a three year deal with Setubal last year, but that’s not to say a move isn’t possible. He has moved about pretty frequently for the past two years, and although he has played 23 times this season, he’s only scored four times.
Pereira can play anywhere on the right and has even been deployed up front by Vitoria manager Sandro Mendes. Blessed with pace and technical ability, Heckingbottom would find him useful. He would be able to play in a lot of positions at Easter Road.
The Portuguese utility man is Premiership quality and would be a useful addition on the flanks and up front for the Hibs boss.
Allef- Vitoria De Setubal
He never got on the park on Sunday, but Hibs could offer 24-year old Brazilian Allef a way out of Vitoria. Once touted as a promising striker, the forward has spent the majority of the past two seasons on the bench.
Signed from Real Sport Clube in 2017, Allef was prolific in the Portuguese lower leagues prior to his move to Vitoria. His goal streak hasn’t quite transcended into the Primiera Liga, failing to score for the senior side over 11 first team appearances in the league.
Contracted until 2020, a loan move to Easter Road could be key for the 24-year old’s career. He’s untested at a high level. His time in the lower leagues in Portugal though showed he knows how to be a nuisance.
A loan move may work, but it would be a gamble from Heckingbottom. Having not scored in a professional league, he isn’t guaranteed success. His best spell was in the third tier of Portuguese football. His ability to make it as a professional could be brought into question at Hibs.
Chris Willock- Benfica
Chris Willock has spent his time with the Benfica B side this term, but has shown he is ready for first team football. He’s scored 11 goals for the reserves this season, but a step-up to the Benfica first team still seems a bit off.
A loan spell may help the former Arsenal youngster and Hibs would provide a great home. He would be able to fill the gap created by Ryan Gauld’s return to Portugal in the summer and gain game time with a great attacking side.
Not only that but he is versatile. He could line up as a winger, midfielder or a number 10. He is a solid dribbler with loads of technical ability. A permanent move seems out of the realms of possibility, but a loan move seems logical for both sides.