After weeks of speculation and transfers, clubs now have their final set of players to help them deal with the season ahead, at least until January.
Hibs are no exception, signing a total of ten players throughout the summer. Paul Heckingbottom managed to get a lot of his business finished early, but there was room for one deadline day signing in the form of Jason Naismith.
How are the Hibees looking now that they have completed their summer shopping?
Defence is good but performances must pick up
The Hibs backline is aging, with the likes of Darren McGregor, David Gray and Lewis Stevenson into their 30s, but overall the defensive department at Easter Road is good.
When fit, Darren McGregor, Ryan Porteous, Paul Hanlon and Adam Jackson are all solid enough centre-backs.
Naismith will provide excellent cover for the injured David Gray, whilst Stevenson, Tom James and Steven Whittaker will likely fight it out for the left-back berth.
It’s a solid backline, but performances have to improve. In the past four games, they have conceded 14 goals. That’s pretty poor for a defence of Hibs’ quality, looking a bit lethargic over the past few weeks.
If Heckingbottom can get them up to speed though they should have no problems here.
Hibs’ midfield and attack are sketchy
It seems as though Heckingbottom has opted not to replace either of Marvin Bartley or Mark Milligan. Instead he has opted for box to box midfielders like Josh Vela and Melker Hallberg, although we’ve yet to see the latter in action.
The departed Hibees were unspectacular but managed to turn in effective performances. Heckingbottom decided he wanted deep lying playmakers instead, which is all well and good if it works, but it hasn’t.
Stevie Mallan and Scott Allan are attacking midfielders, so they can’t operate in that role, whilst Josh Vela isn’t robust enough to deal with the demands of the position. He presses and runs tirelessly, but that doesn’t make him an effective DM.
Striker is another pretty weak area for Hibs. Florian Kamberi, Christian Doidge and Oli Shaw are the options the Yorkshire native has at his disposal.
Kamberi’s the best of the three by a country mile, netting five in eight games. If he is missing, can either Doidge or Shaw step up to the plate?
The latter hasn’t scored since February and Welshman Doidge is struggling to adapt to the SPFL. If Hibs’ Swiss hitman is missing for a period of games, Hibs are in trouble.
Question marks after Hibs’ transfer window
Out wide they are struggling too. Hibs’ only natural right winger in Martin Boyle is out until at least Christmas with injury, leaving Joe Newell, Daryl Horgan and Glenn Middleton to fight it our for right and left wing spots.
Newell has struggled early on, whilst Middleton and Horgan are better out on the left. It’s not an ideal situation and it means one winger will be played out of position.
Hibs are relying on many things falling into place. They need Naismith to perform, Hallberg to bring grit to the midfield, Boyle to recover from injury and keeping Kamberi fit will be a big plus too.
Overall though, there are a few question marks over this Hibs squad after a busy summer of transfer business.