From childhood pals in Leith to Hibs team-mates, Darren McGregor looking forward to arrival of Danny Swanson

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DARREN McGREGOR reckons childhood pal Danny Swanson is just what Hibs need for their return to the Premiership.

Swanson netted his 15th goal of the season for St Johnstone at the weekend to earn them qualification for the Europa League, but he will not be around to enjoy the continental campaign after agreeing to move to Easter Road this summer.

The 30-year-old is a boyhood Hibs fan and grew up kicking a ball around the club’s Leith heartland with McGregor.

And McGregor is convinced the attacking midfielder will add a missing edge to Neil Lennon’s side when they make the step-up to the top-flight.

He said: “I grew up 50 yards from Danny and we spent many a summer together. He’s a great lad and a great football player; really, really talented.

“He’s got a bit about him as well, he doesn’t shirk a challenge, and he scores a goal as well.

“He’s coming off a great season at St Johnstone and if you’re being critical of our team this season we’ve maybe not scored enough goals.

“Jason [Cummings] has contributed fabulously but we’re maybe missing those added goals, and Danny will bring that.

“I’m looking forward to playing with him.”

CHALLENGING

McGregor is one of five current players to have penned new deals for next season, whilst Lennon has been linked with a whole host of top-name targets, including Shaun Maloney, Anthony Stokes, Steven Whittaker, Efe Ambrose and Kelvin Wilson.

With skipper David Gray, stalwart Lewis Stevenson, midfielder Marvin Bartley and keeper Ross Laidlaw having also signed contract extensions, McGregor believes the Championship winners can aim high next season if they recruit the right players.

He added to Hibs TV: “I do believe the guys we’ve already got are capable of even a mid-table finish.

“And if we add to that then we would definitely be looking to push onwards and upwards – for fourth, third or maybe even second, who knows?

“With Aberdeen and Rangers and Hearts, it’s going to be difficult, but I do believe that if we’re meticulous over the summer and we add right we can be challenging these teams. Why not?”

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