Hibs have had the likes of Ethan Laidlaw attract transfer interest from Leeds United – and manager Jack Ross hopes the Easter Road side will be able to convince his youngsters to stay.

The teenage forward, who recently signed his first professional deal at Hibs, has been on trial at Leeds United for a week. The Elland Road club have taken a look at Hibs’ young forward as another Hibees academy product attracts interest.


Leeds United are interested in Ethan Laidlaw. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ryan Porteous and Murray Johnson, reported to be subject to a bid from Wolves, have also had transfer speculation but Ross says the aim is to get such academy stars playing senior football: “The challenge for us is to try and keep as many of the good ones as we can and progress them to first-team level.

“If we aren’t doing that, then we can still make sure we have the appropriate strength in the academy and development squad as well. You need things to come together and there are times where every club will be looked at and asked ‘are they bringing enough young players through?’


“The truth is, you have to judge whether they are ready and good enough. You also have to be willing to give them an opportunity and be in the right circumstances to give them opportunity. I think we have managed to marry the two together over the last season and a bit.

Heart of Midlothian v Hibs - Scottish Cup: First Semi-Final

Willing to give youth a chance. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“There has been progress made in the respect of the development of those players. I think with Ethan Laidlaw and Murray Johnson, it’s not a reflection on me, but a reflection on Eddie May and Gareth Evans and all the guys in the youth academy who have endured a difficult year with not being able to come to work on a regular basis.

“The fact these players become of interest to club and clubs want to take us from us in terms of paying a fee, it paints them in a good light.”

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