Scotland’s “Mini Messi” returns to home soil
Hibernian new signing, Ryan Gauld said he’s excited to play in front of Scottish support once more after spending four years playing in Portugal. David Ronney reports.
The former Dundee United player moved to Sporting Lisbon in 2014 and is making his first return on home soil since his move.
Gauld believes this is now the right time to return to Scottish football and showcase his talent. He said: “I think after spending the last six months in the second division of Portugal, I thought this was the first time since I moved to Portugal that it was the right time to come back to Scotland and get back to enjoying playing in front of big crowds and that’s what Hibs have. I was aware of their interest for a couple of months before Janurary.
“I would say I’ve developed my game in every sense. Tactically, physically and technically as well I would say. Everything has kind of took the next step that it was needing and now I think Hibs is the right platform to hopefully go show how I’ve developed.”
Gauld joins the Edinburgh side on a six month loan deal but says he would be interested in staying beyond the end of the season should both clubs agree to the deal. He added: “That’s being spoke about but at the moment I’m just concentrating on my short loan spell here and then if all goes well and both parties are happy then why not.
“A discussion will take place in the summer and I’m just focussing on my next few months here.”
The Scottish crowds was one of the key aspects that enticed Gauld to return back to his home nation. He said: “There’s a big difference between the atmosphere here to over in Portugal. The fans are a lot more passionate, a lot more involved. I suppose I miss playing in front of the full stadiums and that’s something I’m looking forward to at Easter Road.”
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder could make his debut this weekend’s fifth round Scottish Cup tie with Elgin City. Gauld spoke of what his manager, Neil Lennon has asked from him from now till the end of the season. He said: “I spoke briefly with him. He’s just wants me to come in and hopefully provide a little bit of creativity like from my time at [Dundee] United. Hopefully more of the same to come and to help push Hibs up the league.”