Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom has admitted that he “wasn’t aware” of Ryan Gauld before moving to Easter Road earlier this year as he told how he is constantly being asked by fans about the midfielder’s fitness.
Gauld arrived at Hibs on loan shortly before Heck took the reins but the former Leeds boss was in the dark about the on-loan Sporting Lisbon ace’s profile.
Heckingbottom thinks the constant questions show just how much interest there is in the player once tagged ‘Baby Messi’ as he gets set for a return to first-team action.
“I wasn’t aware of him before but what I have noticed since I have been here is whenever I have been at a development game or out in town I have been asked: ‘How’s Ryan? When will he be back fit?” Heckingbottom told the Edinburgh Evening News.
“Lots of people have been asking about him so that backs up what’s been said, he is a player who everybody wants to know about because of his move (to Portugal) and the interest in it.”
Gauld has been out with a hamstring injury for almost two months and played for Hibs’ reserves on Monday against Ross County.
While it seems unlikely that he’ll be thrust into the starting XI right away, it looks as though he isn’t far away.
After a disappointing time in Leith so far, it could finally be time for Gauld to show what he is capable of.