‘Much-maligned’ but capture of Celtic defender Efe Ambrose is a ‘real coup’ for Hibs, insists boss Neil Lennon

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NEIL LENNON has hailed the capture of the ‘much-maligned’ Efe Ambrose as ‘very exciting’ and a ‘real coup’ – with Hibs confirming that Martin Boyle has also penned a new two-year deal.

Ambrose has agreed the same length of contract following the end of his time at Celtic, with the Easter Road outfit awaiting the completion of paperwork on a move for a player Lennon took to Parkhead in 2012 and believes is now hitting his peak.

The Nigeria internationalist was guilty of high-profile mistakes with Celtic but restored his reputation with an impressive 12-game loan stint with Hibs last season.

With Hibs announcing they have sold over 10,900 season-tickets for next term, Lennon said: “I think it’s worked out well for both parties. To get a player of that calibre in the building on a two-year deal is very exciting.

“I think we saw how good a player he is during that time with us last season. He was a much-maligned character but he showed what a quality player he is.

“He is always healthy, he’s never injured so I think it’s a great bit of business. Credit to the people behind the scenes for making it happen.

“I think we can say we’ve pulled off a real coup in signing Efe for the next two years.

“There was other interest in him but his family want to stay in Scotland. He’s just had a baby boy so there were personal reasons as well.”

He added to the Edinburgh Evening News: “We are getting him at a good age, good experience, good record. He’s won trophies already. That’s good business – a quality player at the right time of his career.”

STAYING

Meanwhile, Boyle, who has scored 18 goals in 93 appearances since signing for the club – initially on loan – in January 2015, is relishing the prospect of playing top-flight football with Hibs.

The 24-year-old, who has won Scottish Cup and Championship winner’s medals in the last 12 months, said: “I’m really pleased to be staying here at Hibs.

“Ever since I made my debut for the club I’ve enjoyed my time here and when I was offered a new deal it was hard to say no – especially as I’ve made so many good memories in the two and a half years.

“My goal when I first joined was to win promotion back to the top-flight and it was great to achieve that last year.

“I’m really looking forward to the next campaign and playing in the Premiership at Easter Road.”

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