Jackie McNamara previews Hibs vs Celtic; one Easter Road star could have Bhoys potential
Former Celtic captain Jackie McNamara has tipped Hibernian star Kevin Nisbet for a future move to Parkhead “if he wants it”.
Nisbet has made a storming start to life in Edinburgh since signing for the club from Dunfermline over the summer. So far this season, he’s bagged nine goals in 15 outings after a tremendous 23 goals in 32 games for Dunfermline (Transfermarkt).
The young centre-forward is due to line up against Celtic on Saturday for the second time this season after impressing at Parkhead. Nisbet surprised many with how he dealt with Hoops defender Shane Duffy, getting plenty of joy against him and causing some heart-in-mouth moments for the Celtic supporters.
And McNamara has exclusively told 67HailHail that he sees plenty of potential in the new Hibs starlet as he admitted he can picture a potential move to Parkhead for him if he plays his cards right:
“Nisbet’s done well, he’s got nine goals now so far this season. I saw a lot of him last year at Dunfermline, and I knew he would go up higher and should be able to score (in the Premiership). He’s got that little bit extra.
“I think he’s got it in his locker if he wants it (a move to Celtic). It’s like anything else – how much do they want that extra bit? I think he’s got good vision, he holds the ball up well, he’s quite strong. He has got a turn of pace which I think he’s got above (Lawrence) Shankland. I think that’s what Shankland struggles with a little bit.
“He’s done it over the last few years now. He’s scored a lot of goals, he knows where to be at the right time. He’s got the potential if he wants it to have a really good career.”
Nisbet’s goal return can’t be ignored; his progress will be interesting
Nisbet’s scored goals absolutely everywhere he’s played over the last few years. Perhaps his most interesting run of form actually came with Raith Rovers in League One, however.
After being released from Partick Thistle, Nisbet signed on with Raith and managed to secure a stunning 34 goals in 46 games. These returns have been stupendous, and the fact he’s kept it up at Hibs is equally impressive.
Of course, he’s now had two cracks at both Celtic and Rangers and failed to net. If he has the desire to go further, that’s something that will be eating away at him ahead of Saturday. Scoring against the Hoops is his next big step, and ultimately the kind of act that can help get the club interested in him.
Sure, it’s going to take more than a goal, but it can be a start. Almost like a pat on the back to get our attention so that we monitor his progress for the rest of the season.
Celtic may be stocked up on strikers at the moment with Odsonne Edouard, Albian Ajeti, Leigh Griffiths, and Patryk Klimala respectively, but that can all change very quickly. Nisbet has a glorious chance to put himself into a position where Celtic are seriously considering him for a future move.
He won’t come cheap. They never do if they’re from Hibs, and all power to them for that. But there’s something intriguing and eye-catching about the Scottish youngster’s goal return as well as his progress. It says a lot about him both on the pitch and off it. Let’s see how far that can take him.