Hibs in negotiations with another defender as transfer business continues apace after double signing

Hibs have completed the signing of another two players but the Leith side are not ready to call time on their January transfer dealings, with negotiations ongoing with another defender and further ins and outs anticipated.

Active early in the window, they had already added Norwegian striker Elias Melkersen to the pre-contract signings of US winger Chris Mueller and attacking midfielder Dylan Tait, from Raith Rovers.

They have now wrapped up deals to bring Celtic’s Ewan Henderson and Arsenal’s Harry Clarke to Leith as they look to rebuild the squad and refine the style of play, with an emphasis on young, hungry, attack-minded players, who will add fresh energy and legs to the side and complement the more experienced players already on the books.

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The younger brother of 2016 Scottish Cup winner Liam, 21-year-old Henderson has signed on loan until the end of the season, at which stage he will trigger a permanent three-year contract.

Shaun Maloney has been on a recruitment drive since arriving at Easter Road (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
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Hailed by new manager Shaun Maloney for his creativity and vision, he is viewed primarily as an asset in the number 10 position but can be utilised anywhere in the forward area, weighing in with assists as Hibs look to improve on their tally of goals.

“Ewan is an extremely talented player,” said Maloney, who previously coached the youngster at Celtic. “He has superb awareness and vision, he’s creative and will provide assists.

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“He’s a player I really want to help to develop so he can show the league the talent he has.”

While Henderson further bolsters an attack already strengthened by the arrival of Melkersen, Mueller and Tait, there have also been efforts to galvanise a defence that is already one of the most miserly in the league.

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Ewan Henderson of Celtic has arrived, initially on loan. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The aim is to ensure the personnel involved work within the more forward-thinking game plan envisaged by Maloney and the club’s hierarchy.

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Arsenal starlet Harry Clarke fits that model. Operating primarily as a right-back while on loan at Ross County in the first half of this season, he contributed three goals and two assists in his 17 appearances. A versatile player, who can also operate as a centre-back and wing-back, he has signed an 18-month loan deal.

“Harry has very good technical attributes in both attacking and defensive actions,” explained Maloney. “He will bring an exciting energy and speed in both areas, and I have no doubt he’ll be a big asset for us going forward.”

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Clarke, whose deal includes break clauses which could allow Arsenal to recall him either in the summer or next January, offers cover for Ryan Porteous, who is suspended for the first three games after the winter break, but the club are also understood to be in talks aimed at bringing at least one more centre-back to the club, with more ins and outs likely.

Jamie Gullan has left Hibs. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
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In the forward areas, recent signings will cover the anticipated absence of Martin Boyle at the end of the month and for the derby match on February 1 when the 28 year-old joins up with Australia for the World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam and Oman.

Hibs also announced that academy graduate Jamie Gullan has agreed a permanent transfer to Raith Rovers.

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