Matthew Hoppe: Why did the USMNT striker join Hibernian on loan?
Matthew Hoppe completed a loan move from Middlesbrough to Scottish Premiership side Hibernian late on transfer deadline day.
The transfer sees the United States international - who played in each of the USMNT's January friendlies against Serbia and Colombia recently - join the Edinburgh side until the end of the season, with Hibs seeking more firepower as they chase European qualification.
"Matthew will add quality in the final third," Hibs manager Lee Johnson said in a club statement.
"He's a talented player that can play in all three positions across our front-line and someone that joins with good experience being a full US international and that has played regularly in the Bundesliga."
Why did Matthew Hoppe join Hibernian on loan?
Though still only 21, Hoppe joins Hibs with a wealth of experience. The forward emerged at Schalke in 2020 and despite the team's struggles, scored six goals in 25 senior appearances for the club, including a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Hoffenheim - becoming the first American to score a Bundesliga hat-trick.
Following Schalke's relegation, Hoppe joined La Liga side Mallorca for €3.5m plus bonuses. But despite the transfer outlay and healthy salary, Hoppe was never given a fair chance in Spain, playing just seven times across all competitions in 2021/22.
That led Hoppe to Middlesbrough, joining the Championship club last summer. Initially, the California native struggled to get a look in under Chris Wilder and although things have improved under Michael Carrick, he's still being restricted to cameos from the bench.
Interest in Hoppe this window was high, with 90min sources indicating fellow Championship and Scottish Premiership clubs also explored the possi
90min understands the move to Hibs has been made purely with Hoppe's development in mind. The player maintains a good relationship with Carrick, who sees him as someone with huge potential to help Boro in the future.
However, Hoppe needs senior minutes at a competitive level to continue his growth as a player. Hibs are knocking on the European door and still have games against Celtic, Rangers, and Edinburgh rivals Hearts to come, meaning he'll get to test himself against Scotland's best.