Hibs: Five players to watch in 2021
On the club’s own website, they say that ‘it feels like we've only just scratched the surface of Melker's true potential’ and it will be interesting to see how much more of that will be unearthed over the course of the season.
A versatile player, who can offer defensive cover in the backline or sitting just in front, the 25-year-old has also shown himself to be an alert attacking force, willing and able to find the space in behind rival rearguards when tactics allow.
That versatility is priceless in a small squad and it is a reason why he will get plenty more game time this season in which to impress.
With confidence already high, he was being talked up by manager Jack Ross and the Scottish Cup goal against Inverness Caledonian Thistle had been an extra fillip.
This term he had a standing start, with the added competition of Kevin Nisbet in the strike berths and Drey Wright, Jamie Murphy and Kyle Magennis on the flanks. But he has contributed, especially in the wider role and, with two Betfred Cup goals, is feeling his way into the season.
After a couple of cup appearances, the 18-year-old made his league debut in the recent win over Hamilton, coming close to his first goal as his shot was pushed onto the bar. Comfortable in possession and able to link up with team-mates, he fizzes with enthusiasm and it’s easy to see why Jack Ross is excited by the winger.
Can play on both flanks but his manager prefers him cutting in from the right on his left foot, where he will have to patiently await his chance behind Martin Boyle.
Still raw, given his ability and willingness to work, he is one the coaching staff believe they can develop, drip feeding him game time as the season goes on.
Opened the season with a bang, to rave reviews, but the teenage left-back has since dropped out the starting line-up and is having to show he is both level-headed and driven enough to channel his disappointment the right way.
Patience and hard work will be key as he competes with Lewis Stevenson and Sean Mackie for that spot. But, the way he handled the step up early in the campaign suggests he has the quality and the mindset needed to keep progressing.
Having not played a full 90 minutes since January, the former St Mirren captain hasn’t dazzled since arriving in October but the remainder of the season will tell if that, as suspected, is down to match sharpness after a lockdown spent rehabilitating from cruciate ligament damage on his own, or an inability to step up.
He doesn’t need to convince his manager, who believes in the 22-year-old box to box midfielder, but he does need to prove his worth to the Leith fans, who have yet to see him reproduce his Paisley form.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.