BY IAIN COLLIN – CAPITAL CITY PRESS
Keith Wright has urged Scott Allan to snub any interest from boyhood heroes Rangers and use Hibernian to earn another crack at English football.
Allan has been strongly linked with interest from the Ibrox outfit after starring for Hibs in last season’s Championship.
The 23-year-old inspired the Easter Road outfit to second place in the division but could not haul them over the line towards promotion as they lost out to Rangers in their play-off semi-final.
His classy displays earned him PFA Scotland Championship player of the year and attracted three bids – all rejected – from former club Dundee United in the January transfer window, the largest of which is thought to have been £225,000.
With a year left on his contract at Hibs, it would surely take a far larger offer to tempt Hibs to sell their top performer and someone who could lead the capital club back to the Premiership.
And Wright, who won the Skol Cup with Hibs in 1991, insists Allan’s career would be best served by staying put for a couple of seasons before taking his pick of moves back to English football, where he suffered two and a half years of misery with West Brom.
Wright, who was launching a new tie-in between Hibernian Community Foundation, the club’s charity, and Edina Hibs boys’ club, said: “Scott’s definitely a top player. Everything that Hibs did well last season came through the midfield. He was probably the main man that made them tick.
“I don’t know what advice he’s getting, but if he’s enjoying his football and playing every week for the next couple of years I think he’s got to take advantage of that.
“He’s had a shot down south that didn’t quite work out for him but his big move will come because he can’t play at that level and put in those performances every week without getting noticed down south.
“But I would say if he’s enjoying it in the next two years then the challenge is to establish himself as a really good player who can pick his move if he goes down south.
“Playing in the Championship is a problem that Hibs will need to try to sort out. I don’t know financially if he’s on a good deal but that could be the thing to push him over the line to stay with Hibs – a wee bit more financially on his contract.
“Because I think he’s enjoying his football. He looks like he’s enjoying it – and you can always see it in players.
“He’s involved in everything that’s happening on the pitch, he’s involved in every play, and he’s playing with a smile on his face.
“Hopefully that might prove more important than the money he could earn elsewhere.
“If he’s a Rangers fan or not, the fact that he’s playing every week, that the fans love him and that he’s a big part of what Alan Stubbs is doing, that might keep him here for a couple of years.”
Wright was back at his old boys’ club, a team celebrating its 50th anniversary that also produced the likes of Alex Cropley, John Brownlie and John Hughes, who all went on to play for Hibs, and
John Robertson and Christophe Berra, who crossed the city to instead join Hearts.
Edina Hibs will now form the cornerstone of Hibernian Community Football Club, another move by the Easter Road club to reconnect with its grassroots.