Chris Mueller admits his desperation to join Hibernian caused him to leave former club Orlando on bad terms.
The American striker agreed a pre-contract with the Easter Road club last July and was hopeful a deal could have been done to bring him to Edinburgh for the start of this season.
However, Orlando refused to let him leave and he ended up having to play the last four months of the MLS campaign with a sense of resentment and distracted by thoughts of his impending move to Scotland.
He said: “It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my career. It was a very testing period of my time playing, in terms of mentally having to be focused on what I had to do but also knowing I had things waiting for me in the future, maybe even better things. It was very hard to just stay present. It’s a part of the game though. Things like that happen all the time and you just have to deal with it.
“I was certainly desperate to get here. Hibs were trying to bring me over in the summer which is what I wanted as well, and I made it clear to my old club that I wanted to go but obviously it doesn’t always work like that. It was a tough six months and I learned a lot, not only about how cruel football can be but also about myself.”
Mueller spent four seasons with Orlando and was disappointed they did not allow him to leave last summer when he agreed his deal with Hibs.
He said: “If I’m being honest, I didn’t leave there on as good terms as I had hoped. I felt like I’d done a lot for the club and given my all for them, which I would always do day in and day out. I know that things weren’t necessarily personal. They were just doing what they thought was right. I don’t think I left on the best terms ever but I continued to work hard and tried to keep my head in it as much as I possibly could.”
Mueller is one of four players who could make their Hibs debuts in Monday’s cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park. Harry Clarke, Dylan Tait and Rocky Bushiri are the others. Elias Melkersen will not feature as he is still awaiting his work permit, while on-loan Celtic midfielder Ewan Henderson cannot face his parent club.
Mueller said: “I moved over to play in games like this. These are the type of atmospheres you dream of playing in as a little kid. To think that it’s almost here is crazy to me. I’m just enjoying the ride.”
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