EFE AMBROSE is set to return to Celtic now that his successful spell on loan at Hibs is over but he could be making the return trip along the M8 very soon.
The Nigerian star has re-discovered his form and re-built his confidence after a very difficult few years at Celtic.
An own goal in a pre-season friendly against Barcelona convinced the incoming manager Brendan Rodgers that it would be fairer on the player to remove him from first team duties. Rodgers later in the season spoke very highly of Ambrose as a man and as a football professional and will do all he can to help the player find a new club when his Celtic contract expires next month.
Ambrose wants to stay in the UK but it seems that his chances of playing in England are slim. Blackburn Rovers tried to take him on loan from Celtic in January but were left frustrated by the FA’s refusal to grant a work permit.
So instead of a bottom of the table dogfight with Blackburn, which they lost at the weekend as their relegation was confirmed, Ambrose went through to Leith to sign on for a loan period with Neil Lennon.
Lennon, of course, signed Ambrose for Celtic and the player settled in well to Scottish football and was popular with the Parkhead club’s supporters. But in recent times, Ambrose became error prone and he never seemed to have much luck either.
So when Lennon called he spoke to Rodgers and a loan deal was arranged. And instead of relegation with the Rovers Ambrose at the weekend was doing what he always does in Scotland in May, he was out on the park celebrating a league win and picking up another medal to add to his impressive collection won in the Scottish game.
Ambrose is full or respect for both Lennon and Rodgers.
“He wants me to stay but it is not up to me,” he said, discussing Neil pennon’s wish to sign the 28 year old on a long term deal. ”
We will see what the future holds. My agent will speak to the club and you never know what is going to happen.
“Of course, I would consider staying with Hibs because the fans showed me love and I enjoy working with the manager who signed me for Celtic and then brought me to Hibs.
So if it comes my way again then it will be hard to turn down.”
The 1-1 draw with Hibs was followed by, for Ambrose, the usual title party.
“It was quite emotional., he said. “I have been in this position before and I know what winning a trophy means to me and to the club.
“For some guys, it was their first time and they have been waiting for this occasion for two to three years.
“Saturday was a special day for the fans and the club – and for Edinburgh – to see Hibs back in the Premiership.
“Winning trophies is what everyone wants to be part of and it was great for me to be part of this winning team and celebrate with these young guys who are hungry for success.
“You could see it in their eyes. They could not wait for this day. So it was quite emotional to see everyone connected with the club so excited.
“Winning trophies is a plus but it is about the philosophy of this club and the objectives – that’s what motivates me.
“When I came to Hibs and I saw the boys and the structure of the team I was excited to be part of it.
“I will go back to Celtic to consider the rest of the season and from there you never know what is going to happen.”
Ambrose will sign for Hibs and don’t be surprised if this time next year he is in the running for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year.
Last night his team-mate John McGinn won the Championship Player of the Year at the 2017 awards.