Jack Ross believes the chance to impress Scotland boss Steve Clarke at close quarters was the key to Chris Cadden choosing to sign for Hibernian.
Former Motherwell wideman Cadden had a string of clubs chasing his signature but has opted to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal at Easter Road after leaving MLS champions Colombus Crew.
The 24-year-old won two caps under former Scots boss Alex McLeish during the 2018 summer tour to Peru and Mexico – but played no part as Clarke’s squad clinched a place at Euro 2020.
Now with the national team heading for their first major tournament in 23 years this summer, Ross reckons the chance to show Clarke he is worth a recall was the key factor in Cadden deciding to make his move to Leith.
He said: “We’re bringing in a player who is still relatively young, who has been in international squads and achieved international recognition previously.
“We feel Chris is someone who can improve with us and get us where we want to be on a more consistent basis.
“We’re excited about him joining the group. (Getting him that international recognition again) I think was part of the attraction in getting him here.
“He had a lot of alternatives to consider when he decided to come away from the MLS and Colombus. One of the selling points for us was to hopefully propel him back into the plans for the international level having been there previously.
“I think the opportunity to put himself very much back in a lot of people’s thoughts for Scotland was an attraction in coming to Hibs.”
Cadden’s arrival follows the signing of Jackson Irvine and Matt Macey this month.
Former Ross County midfielder Irvine could face Kilmarnock on Saturday despite not having kicked a first-team ball in almost 10 months – and Ross hinted there could be further new faces arriving this month.
“Potentially,” he said. “It might be depending on movement the other way. I can’t say for certain but I’d expect some shuffling of the squad between now and the end of the month.”
Ross has also rewarded long-time Hibs servant Lewis Stevenson, 33, with a new one-year contract stretching to the summer of 2022 just days after the left-back chalked up his 500th club appearance.
Only four players have made more appearances for the Edinburgh club across its 145-year history – Willie Ormond (506), Pat Stanton (617), Arthur Duncan (626) and Gordon Smith (636).
But the League Cup and Scottish Cup-winning defender has found game time harder to come by this season having fallen behind youngster Josh Doig in Ross’ pecking order.
However, the Hibs boss said: “I think Lewis wanted to know this – it’s not for sentiment.
“It’s for football. He’s still contributing on the pitch and around the training ground on a daily basis.
“His attitude to work remains as diligent as it’s always been and I think he’s enjoying his football at the moment.
“Having that competition to play at left-back against a young player who has come through our youth system and encouraging him is something I think Lewis is enjoying. He’s competing against Josh to play but also mentoring him with his development as well.
“So the decision to offer him a new contract was based on footballing reasons and we’re delighted that he chose to accept it on the back of what has been an incredible week for him in achieving that milestone.”
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