Elias Melkersen work permit update as Hibs plan for spell without Martin Boyle

Elias Melkersen’s work visa could still be approved ahead of Hibs’ Scottish Cup tie against Cove Rangers but if not, it “won’t be too long after that”, according to manager Shaun Maloney.

Hibs new signing Elias Melkersen was unable to feature at Celtic Park on Monday as he has yet to receive a work permit. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The 19-year-old Norwegian was bought as a long-term proposition but Maloney admits he could bolster attacking options when Martin Boyle joins up with Australia for their World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam and Oman at the end of January.

“It would be really good for Elias,” admitted the Leith manager. “But when he signed I said he was someone we would give time to adapt to the league and a different country. He is a very young boy.

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“We have other very good options in that area. Christian [Doidge] looks like he is coming back to his very best form and we have Chris Mueller.

“But, Martin brings very specific attributes. There aren’t too many in our team or in the league who have his attributes so it is up to me to find the right solution when he does go away.”

Although Maloney would rather have the 28-year-old available for the upcoming games against Motherwell, Livingston and Hearts, the former Belgium coach says he understands the pull of international football.

“It should never feel like a clash. But I think what is slightly different with Belgium and the European fixtures is that the clubs stop during that time but it is ok. We have an Australian player and we know the dates of their games and we have to adapt. I am really hopeful that Martin has a really successful camp because it would be great to see him at a World Cup.”

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