In a summer of potential uncertainty at Hibs, there's at least one thing that seems set it stone: Malky Mackay will be a busy man.

The new sporting director has officially started work and his to-do list is certainly an extensive one. The most obvious priority is, of course, appointing a new head coach, but once that box is ticked there's a long list of issues which he, and the new man in the dugout, will have to work their way through.

With Hibs back in action for the Premier Sports Cup in mid-July, and an overseas pre-season camp to come before it, time is of the essence. Here, we've compiled the burning issues facing Mackay, and the successor to Nick Montgomery, whoever that may be.

Sign a new number one

With David Marshall looking set to leave the club, it's imperative that Hibs sign a new, long-term number one. In Marshall's absence through injury, Jojo Wollacott was given a chance in the final few games of the season, but it's hard to say the Ghana international staked a striking claim to be the first-choice moving forward. Succession planning between the sticks has likely been ongoing for some time, as it always seemed likely that a replacement would be required this summer. With Mackay officially in the door, it's a pursuit you imagine will accelerate.

Whether Hibs look for a highly experienced option, or a younger player remains to be seen. Given the number of leadership figures who have now departed, namely Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson, it would not be a surprise if the club felt that the former was the best course of action. An experienced keeper may be harder to attain than, say, getting an up-and-coming option on loan, but it's a position Hibs could really do with securing for at least a few years to come.

Central defensive issues

As Hanlon, Will Fish, and Nectar Triantis all depart Easter Road, it leaves Rocky Bushiri as Hibs' only senior centre-back heading into the summer, with Riley Harbottle seemingly out of the picture. The club have never really been able to recruit a long-term, naturally left-sided successor to Hanlon, but it's a task now forced on them and will be one of the most significant transfer decisions in recent years. There will, in all likelihood, be a need to recruit more than one new centre-back, and Hibs could revisit a loan deal for Bournemouth's Owen Bevan.

The 20-year-old had agreed a deal to move to Easter Road for the second half of last season, only for injury to force him to return south without kicking a ball in green and white. He has previous loan experience with Truro City, Yeovil Town, and Cheltenham Town, and Hibs would certainly be a step up in level and expectation. If he was to join for the coming season, fans would be keen to see a more experienced operator recruited as well, one who could replace the know-how and leadership lost with Hanlon moving on to pastures new. It's one Hibs really have to get right this summer.

Replacing Myziane's goals

It doesn't bear thinking about where Hibs might have ended up last season were it not for the Comoros international's prolific form. On loan from Hertha Berlin, the forward notched 11 times in half a season but has since confirmed there is no prospect of the move being made permanent. Bringing in another player of his quality is a tall order, as players of that calibre are not often attainable for a club of Hibs' financial standing.

What the team lacked last season was a spread of goals across multiple players, with only Elie Youan - who may also leave in the near future - coming close to matching Myziane's goalscoring exploits. Not to go all 'Moneyball', but it's perhaps more likely that Hibs will look to add multiple options across a forward line that is already in need of a fresh look. 

Is Vente the main man?

Part of that above process will be deciding whether Dylan Vente is going to be the man to lead the new manager's forward line. The Dutchman had an underwhelming first season in Scotland, albeit there were some mitigating circumstances, including spending a chunk of the campaign playing out of position. He managed eight goals in all competitions, having previously been far more prolific in the Dutch second tier.

READ MORE: How Hibs can get Vente firing after up-and-down campaign

Given the significant financial outlay made on him last summer, you would not imagine there will any great willingness to write him off at this stage, and the feeling will surely be that more can be gleaned from the forward in a more effective system. Vente showed what he can do in flashes, but there will clearly be greater onus on him next term to show that on a more regular basis. With Adam Le Fondre leaving, however, Hibs will need another option up top to add greater depth, and to provide an alternative option.

Youan's future

Hibs are currently in possession of a seven-figure offer from an unnamed French club. Youan registered ten goals and 11 assists last season, and that contribution will be difficult to replace if the time has come for him to move on. A departure does seem the most likely outcome - the French winger is a hugely exciting talent on his day, but it's fair to say he has not fully won over sections of the Hibs fanbase.

READ MORE: Elie Youan would leave Hibs as an underappreciated enigma

The size of the offer - believed to be in the region of £2.5m including add-ons - would also allow for further investment to facilitate the necessary rebuild. The deal with Black Knight FC will bring around £6m into the club coffers, but not all of that has been allocated to the transfer budget, and making a large profit on Youan - signed for £700,000 from St Gallen last summer - seems like sensible business. That being said, it's only of benefit if that cash is then spent wisely on players who can immediately impact the starting XI.

Trimming the squad

Hibs had over 40 contracted players on the books last season, as Montgomery was often at pains to point out. That number simply has to be reduced over the summer, but it won't be a straightforward task for Mackay to complete. There were 19 players out on loan throughout 2023/24, and a considerable number of those likely do not have any long-term future at Hibs.

READ MORE: The curious case of forgotten Hibs winger Dan Mackay

It stands to reason that the club will probably not be able to offload all of them permanently in one window, and there are some who are now entering the final year of their contracts. If fees cannot be agreed with other clubs, more loan exits will be the most obvious course of action as those players' deals run down. Conversations will be had with the new head coach over whether he feels any of them can play a part next season - there are academy prospects pushing for a jump into the senior setup - but the writing certainly seems on the wall for more than a few. A key element of the new football structure will also be ensuring Hibs do not end up in this situation again any time soon.