Hibs have announced the signing of French forward Elie Youan on a permanent deal.
The 24-year-old has spent the season at Easter Road on loan from Swiss side St Gallen but a deal has now been agreed between the clubs and Youan has signed a three-year contract with Hibs.
The attacker will now continue his career under manager Lee Johnson after an encouraging first season in the Premiership. Youan has scored six times in 31 league games as Hibs secured top-six football and continue to push for Europe.
Johnson revealed that the club had spent “not quite seven figures but very high six figures” to land Youan but believes it is a worthwhile outlay for a player Hibs can take to a higher level.
“The club have invested in a young asset,” he said. “Credit to the ownership for the investment they’ve put in, it’s a considerable investment for a club like Hibs, and one that we feel is a good one for us, not only on the pitch but in terms of future value as well.
“Elie has improved phenomenally this season. He’s had an impact in a difficult league. He’s got good numbers in terms of goals and assists and he stretches opponents.
“He’s growing up. He’s moved to a different country and culture and if that trajectory remains, then you’d expect him to have an even better season next season.
“He’s not the finished article and we’re not finished developing him. He’s got mega work to do. This is just an extension of his work and I think Hibs is a great vehicle for Elie.”
Youan’s signing comes days after veteran left-back Lewis Stevenson committed his future to the club with a new one-year contract.
“Lewy’s attachment to the club, his personality, and his quality on the football pitch is important,” Johnson said. “He’s absolutely trustworthy, you know what you’re getting with him.
“And this is going to sound a bit of a strange one, but I think he’s still got loads to work on. I think he’s got more in the locker than he shows sometimes.
“He’s dynamic, he’s powerful, he’s got a great centre of gravity and he can handle the ball, but I want him to take the ground more, take the little spaces.
“That sounds strange to try and improve someone of his age but he enjoys trying to improve that attacking stuff. But as a defender, you can’t get more honest and trustworthy. He never shirks a tackle, you wouldn’t want to play against him because he’s brave and tough.”