Evergreen David Marshall has been backed to become a Hibs hero in the same mold as Craig Gordon at Hearts.
The 37-year-old Scotland keeper earlier this week agreed to a two-year deal as Lee Johnson’s first signing at Easter Road following his release from QPR.
And according to former Hibs keeper Cammy Bell, Marshall will inject a priceless dose of winning mentality to the dressing room to help drive the club back towards the European spots next season.
#Bell worked closely with the 37-year-old in Scotland squads a decade ago. And he is convinced not only will the deal be good for Hibs – but it will also help keep Marshall in the national set-up besides fellow veteran shotstopper Gordon.
It’s a match made in Hibee heaven according to Bell who insists Marshall will be adored in Leith just like Gordon is in Gorgie. The former Kilmarnock and Rangers keeper, who spent six months at Easter Road in 2018, said: “Marsh will be a brilliant signing for Hibs.
“I said a couple of years ago when he was out of contract that Celtic should sign him after they lost
“He’s played a huge number of games and been consistent all through his career.
“He is just a top keeper who has a huge amount to offer even at 37.
“He easily has two or three seasons in him, he’s not had too many serious injuries and is a fit guy who works hard to look after his body.
“I’ve been in plenty of Scotland squads with Marsh and seen him train close up.
“He’s a great guy and such a calming influence. Sometimes what you bring off the pitch can be just as important as what you add on it.
“Marsh has top-level experience, has won trophies, played internationally and played at a major tournament. That experience is priceless.
“These are all characteristics Hibs haven’t had around the place for a number of years. He will drive them forward and the younger players will be able to lean on his experience of him and use that to help themselves.
“But Marsh will really enjoy it as well because Hibs have got a lot going for them. They’re a massive club with a big fanbase and a good training ground.
“Much like Craig Gordon at Hearts he will be at a club where he will feel at home and where he will be loved. That can spur you on for an extra two or three years.”
Marshall is back in the Scotland squad for the World Cup play-off semi with Ukraine and Bell isn’t surprised.
He said: “David is one of the best goalkeepers we’ve got. You have to have these guys in your squad because if one gets injured you want another you can rely on.
“Those two guys will no doubt be the best in the country next season.”
A miserable campaign that saw Jack Ross and Shaun Maloney sacked before Hibs finished eighth has left the club in desperate need of a lift.
And Bell reckons former Killie team-mate Johnson is just the man. The ex-Sunderland and Bristol City boss has vowed to make Europe his first target.
And Bell said: “I reckon Hibs will be a real force to be reckoned with next season.
“Lee has a full pre-season and will bring in some of his own signings so I’d expect them to be at least a top-six side, if not pushing for European football. There’s been a lot of turmoil behind the scenes but they’ve got it right with Lee. He’s a modern day coach who likes to look after his players from him.
“Funnily enough we spoke about it only a few weeks ago at the Killie anniversary dinner. I told him to go for it as he would be perfectly suited to it.
“Then last week my missus showed me a picture of his unveiling at Easter Road. I thought, ‘You owe me one Lee!’
“But he’s a great fit. He’s hands-on in training, likes to use all the modern technology and get the most out of his players.
“I truly believe he will have Hibs back challenging for European football next season.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.