Hibs: Shaun Maloney warns Martin Boyle must be replaced and reveals transfer wishlist in place

Shaun Maloney says that Hibs will have to open the purse strings and help him find a suitable replacement if the Martin Boyle transfer to Saudi Arabian side Al-Faisaly goes through, as expected.

Omitted from the squad that eventually overcame League One Cove Rangers in extra time to progress to the next round of the Scottish Cup, the Hibs boss said he expects the situation to move on within the next 24-48 hours but is well aware of the void the Australian international will leave and stressed it would be a mistake not to bring in someone with at least some of his key attributes before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

“I’ve been preparing for the game so I haven’t spoken to the club about the stage it’s at. But with Martin it’s possible he’s played his last game. By Friday we’ll be a bit more definitive.

“I was always aware this could happen. In terms of Martin he’s been great to deal with and we’ve been really clear together on what the situation could be.

Martin Boyle could be heading for Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

“We’ll know more in the next 24 or 28 hours. People with Martin’s attributes make a difference.

“He was missed tonight. If it does become the case he goes then we’ll have to replace.

“It’s hard to find and that’s why he’s been one of the best in his position.

“But we can’t not replace that. At times we saw we have some good play but when you have a player who can go by an opponent it changes really long possession into a good chance.”

Shaun Maloney has warned Hibs must release funds to replace their striker. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

A wish list has already been drawn up but he said the time had come to pinpoint specific targets.

“Normally when you think about a position there’s a number and now if he goes we’ll start to narrow that down.”

Happy to ultimately make it past an impressive Cove side, he said there are elements of the performance that can be worked on and he expects newcomers to grow into their roles but he was thrilled to see Kevin NIsbet respond to the recent negativity with the winning goal.

“The performance can definitely be better at times. I thought we got better as the game went on and we created more chances. But my experience in these competitions tell me I have to be very happy to be in the next round.

Hibs' Martin Boyle watches on from the stand during the Scottish Cup Fourth Round tie between Hibernian and Cove Rangers at Easter Road, on January 20, 2022, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

“Kevin has been really good in terms of his commitment and there was a great moment where the fans appreciated what he did out of possession.

“He brings that quality and that’s what number nines do. He will score more than he doesn’t.

“I hope that connection between him and the fans will change.”

Chris Mueller and Ewan Henderson were two debutants and while there is more to come from both, Maloney, who felt it would be wrong to discuss a potential move for former Hearts loanee Dmitri Mitchell while he remains a Blackpool player, was content with their efforts.

“I think with Ewan, he hasn’t played for a long time but he can be really pleased with his 60 minutes and I thought Chris Mueller was very good considering he hasn’t played for a long time.”

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