The latest Scottish Premiership preview sees Joel Sked take a look at Hibs.
Paul Heckingbottom is set for his first full season in charge at Easter Road. The Englishman took over from Neil Lennon with that particular relationship having run its course with Hibs at a low ebb.
It was always going to be a tricky season for Hibs after losing the magnificent midfield trio of Scott Allan, John McGinn and Dylan McGeouch, as well as Brandon Barker. The momentum built up in the second half of the 2017/2018 season could not be continued. Despite a decent start the team tailed off under Lennon as the Northern Irishman's use of the stick began to grate. Heckingbottom came in and guided Hibs to a top six finish which looked unlikely and there was even talk of reaching Europe going into the split.
IN: Christian Doidge (Forest Green Rovers, £250k), Scott Allan (Celtic), Steven Bradley (Queen's Park), Adam Jackson (Barnsley), Tom James (Yeovil Town), Joe Newell (Rotherham United), Josh Vela (Bolton Wanderers), Chris Maxwell (Preston North End, loan)
OUT: Lewis Allan (Raith Rovers), Marvin Bartley (Livingston), Ross Laidlaw (Ross County), Mark Milligan (Southend United), Thomas Agyepong (Manchester City, end of loan), Adam Bogdan (Liverpool, end of loan), Ryan Gauld (Sporting Lisbon, end of loan), Darnell Johnson (Leicester City, end of loan), Marc McNulty (Reading, end of loan), Stephane Omeonga (Genoa, end of loan), Gael Bigirimana, Andrew Blake, Miquel Nelom, Jonathan Spector
Most interesting recruit
Fans are always keen to see their club spend a bit of money. Hibs did that when they parted with six figures to sign striker Christian Doidge. The Welshman arrived from Forest Green Rovers where he hit 14 in 25 last term.
His goalscoring record in the fourth and fifth tiers of English football is impressive. Players with worse stats have lit up Scottish football and made a real success of themselves.
Doidge, however, isn't the most technically proficient of players but has a striker's scent in and around the box and should score goals providing he is fed the ball in good positions.
Another layer of intrigue surrounds Florian Kamberi. It is hard to believe Doidge is more talented but the Swiss ace has been in and out the team or fielded on the left under Heckingbottom.
EH7 is where Scott Allan belongs. The kit, the surroundings, the general ambience seems to bring out the best in the playmaker. He may not have McGinn and McGeouch around him but he has arrived at Easter Road in tremendous nick, raring to go.
Hibs fans were salivating when he set up Kamberi for a goal in the Betfred Cup with one of those trademark reverse through balls.
More pressure has been heaped on his shoulders to create with Martin Boyle facing a sustained period on the sidelines, but if he can generate a partnership with the strikers he could set a record for assists.
What do they still need?
The aforementioned injury to Martin Boyle will likely force Heckingbottom's hand to dive back into the transfer market for a winger. He is not keen on loan signings but a pick up from a Premier League side could be useful.
The question: Is Paul Heckingbottom the real deal?
This is a question which will only be answered well into the season.
The Englishman was a huge success at Barnsley but struggled at Leeds United. He had an instant impact at Easter Road but the Hibees hit a ceiling after the split with doubts creeping in.
Yet, a full pre-season under his belt, plus his own recruits, we will get to see the true Paul Heckingbottom Hibs.
Any other business
The club are doing some interesting work in their academy to make sure they don't miss out on the stars of the future, as told in this interview on the Evening News.
*Transfers courtesy of Narey's Topepoker