American winger Aaron Kovar has arrived on trial at Easter Road as Hibs boss Neil Lennon bids to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window. Here’s everything you need to know about the Seattle Sounders player.
It’s not his first UK ‘trial’
Kovar has spent time during January in both this year and last year training with clubs in the UK.
He spent January, 2015, with Sheffield Wednesday, though there was little suggestion of it leading to a move as he sought to gain some valuable experience prior to the MLS season.
He then returned to these shores in January earlier this year with Preston North End. Though a potential transfer was mooted in reports, nothing transpired and he quietly went back to Seattle.
Seattle recently extended his contract
Just two days ago, the Sounders took up the option to extend Kovar’s contract for another year.
It means a fee may have to be agreed for Hibs to sign the player, if they are keen on doing so. The good news is that Kovar is not a regular in the Seattle starting XI and if his £925-a-week salary is anything to suggest, it may not take an hefty bid in order to persuade Seattle to part with the 23-year-old.
He didn’t make the squad for the MLS final
Having played a bit-part in each of his first two seasons with the Seattle Sounders senior side, Kovar began to establish himself as a squad rotation player in the early part of this campaign.
Seeing as the franchise would go on to lift the MLS Cup just a few months later - defeating Toronto FC on penalties in an utterly horrendous final - Kovar gaining a regular place can only be seen as a fine individual achievement. However, after sustaining a collarbone injury in July he struggled to get back into the side for the remainder of the campaign, playing only once more. When the MLS final rolled around, Kovar failed to make 18-man matchday squad.
He’s only scored one goal in the MLS
But it was very impressive. Check it out here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9iZbi-GP2I
His college coach likened his style to Ryan Giggs
“He’s a great out-and-out winger and has certainly modelled his game after Ryan Giggs. He has incredible attacking qualities and provides great service from the left flank. Kovar is also capable of cutting inside and scoring goals with his right foot. He’s a tremendous attacking threat.”
That was how his former head coach at Stanford, Jeremy Gunn, described his play prior to Kovar’s signing with Seattle.
If Kovar has the talent required to succeed at the Scottish Championship level, as Neil Lennon will be judging over the next couple of weeks, he’s definitely someone Hibs could use. Alex Harris has still to recapture his early promise, leaving Martin Boyle as the only winger in the side, and even then he could be described as more of a natural striker than wide player.
Hibs could use greater variety in attack. It remains to be seen whether Kovar will be the man to provide it.