Hibs have made their first signing of the January window, snapping up Hertha Berlin forward, Myziane Maolida, on loan until the end of the season.

It’s a signing that brings as much excitement as it does apprehension. Maolida has moved clubs for sums in the region of €14m since breaking onto the scene with Lyon as a youth player.

However, his career has stalled and Hibs have picked him up from Hertha’s B team so they will be hoping that Maolida sees this move as an opportunity to get his career back on track and get in the shop window for next season.

Nick Montgomery highlighted Maolida’s ability to play both wide and centrally in the attacking areas as a way of addressing what he sees as a lack of strength in depth in those areas, and it looks like the sort of signing that will keep the likes of Dylan Vente, Martin Boyle, and Elie Youan on their toes as competition for places in those areas heats up.

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It’s fair to say that this is a signing that fits the profile of the players typically signed by Montgomery in his time at Central Coast Mariners, most notably for Hibs fans, with the resurgence of Jason Cummings, whose own career had stalled before finding form with Monty in the A-League.

The signing will quieten the noise from some sections of the support who were growing more restless as the days of the transfer window passed by, and fans will be heartened by Monty’s comments that indicated that he’s not done yet with signings.

With Maolida’s move requiring international clearance and a work permit before being formally completed, it’s unlikely that he’ll be in the squad to make the trip north to Forfar for this weekend’s Scottish Cup tie.

Hibs will take a large travelling support to The Alpha Projects Stadium at Station Park, and weather permitting, they’ll be looking forward to what promises to be a good, old fashioned cup tie.

Hibs broke the news that there would be no PPV options for fans unable to travel, and this feels like another opportunity missed for Scottish football to not only generate income for the smaller clubs, but also to showcase a famous cup competition. Irrespective of the game being broadcast, Hibs would have taken an equally large crowd and could have shifted more than the allocated tickets if the venue allowed.

This is a massive game for Hibs. It may not have the glamour and hype of the Edinburgh derby or a game against either of the Glasgow giants, but the importance to Hibs season can’t be overstated. As favourites, this is the sort of game where Hibs are on a hiding to nothing – a routine win won’t draw much praise given the opposition, while anything but a win will provoke a huge reaction from a support that, whilst still largely onside with Monty, has seen a few doubts creep in over recent matches.

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That said, it would be a huge shock if Hibs don’t progress. My prediction is that it will be a comfortable, but unspectacular win for the Hibees – much like the cup win against Arbroath in February 2022. Hibs won that game 1-3, and to give you an idea of how little credit that gained, the match is remembered most for Rocky Bushiri launching a clearance from the touchline into the North Sea.

While third or fourth place in the league isn’t yet unattainable for Hibs, it will take a massive turnaround in results and performances if Hibs are to claw back points on the teams ahead of them, therefore the Scottish Cup takes on extra significance if the season is to be salvaged.