Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs insists the £200,000 that the club stumped up for John McGinn could end up being a bargain after watching the midfielder flourish on his Scotland debut.
The 21-year-old was named man of the match in Tuesday’s 1-0 friendly victory over Denmark at Hampden as he put a strong case forward for being involved when the World Cup qualifiers start in September.
Hibs are reaping the rewards for being brave enough to shell out a compensation fee to take him from St Mirren last summer and Stubbs insists the club now have a prized asset on their hands.
Stubbs said: “It’s a very proud moment for himself, for the football club and his performance didn’t surprise me – I was delighted he performed to the standard that he did.
“He’s a lovely lad, he’s a really nice lad and he plays the way he trains.
“He wants to be the best he can and when you have that attitude you have a right good chance of being a top player.
“Were we surprised we were able to get him so easily last summer? We were, I think there were a few interested but it was an interest rather than it going any further.
“We were very positive in making steps towards signing him and the board have to take a lot of credit for stumping up the money to sign him.
“Now we’ve done that, we’ve got a real asset on our hands now.
“The money we spent was a lot. We felt that he was not just an investment, but he had potential to be better than what he was showing.
“What’s he worth now? I’ll let other people decide that. The most important thing is that he’s worth a lot to the team.
“The rest, the value is irrelevant right now but the one thing that it’s doing is going upwards if anything.
“John is the one that deserves the most credit. We’ve given him an environment to better himself, we’ve given him a programme where we can improve on certain aspects of his game and we’ll keep working on him to make him an even better player.”
The performance of McGinn and striker Jason Cummings’ brace for the Scotland Under-21s in Tuesday’s victory over Northern Ireland provided Stubbs with much-needed cheer after going into the international break on the back of a fourth straight league defeat.
Stubbs, whose side are six points adrift of Falkirk in the race for second, has revealed he meted out the hairdryer treatment in the wake of their 3-2 defeat at Raith Rovers a fortnight ago.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s trip to St Mirren, he said: “We had a discussion after the game and it was probably the most annoyed that any of them had seen me since I’d been here – but it was needed.
“It’s maybe the most animated they’ve seen me. I wasn’t throwing things about or anything like that. I possibly might have done if anything was in my way.
“It was one of those moments that it needed to be told. It was told, it was nothing untoward about it.
“The break was a good opportunity for them to go away and assess their performances and to see that they had dropped below the required standard.
“I’m sure they would have enjoyed the time away with the families and not having to concentrate on the football.”