Stoke City jet-heeled ‘transfer target’ Martin Boyle almost unstoppable, says former teammate



One to whet the appetite of any Stoke City fan who thinks Michael O’Neill could or should add more pace to his attacking armoury.

Martin Boyle, the Hibernian winger linked with the Potters, is producing the kind of pace that is testing speed cameras as the Scottish top flight gets underway.

Marvin Bartley, the former Hibs midfielder now at Livingston, admitted that defenders will not be relishing trying to keep a handle on his scorching boots.

And that was before Hibs went and beat Livingston 4-1. O’Neill’s former club Hibs have now won their first three games of the new season.

“He is almost becoming unstoppable,” said Bartley. “His pace is electric and… when he does get the ball you need to be very tight to him so he can’t pick up pace.

“But you have to worry about players like him. Outside the top two, he is probably one of the most dangerous players in the league.

“If you can keep Martin Boyle quiet you are some of the way there to beating them, but they have other quality players, it would be disrespectful just to speak about him.

“I can tell you how to stop Martin Boyle, but if he knocks the ball down the line, me and him running, I’m not getting there. So I will probably be taking a booking!”

The Scottish Sun quoted a £1m asking price as they suggested Stoke were interested in the 27-year-old Australia international, formerly of Montrose and Dundee – and that might be too much.

But it would be a surprise if he was still at Easter Road when the deadline passes.

Bartley said: “He’s in his last year of his contract so his valuation probably isn’t as high as Hibs would have hoped.

“But I think by the end of the window they’ll probably be looking to sell him to recoup something.

“What you don’t want to do is for this window to close, get to January and you’re looking at absolute peanuts for him.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if (he’s gone) by the end of the window and he’s deserved it. He’s been a loyal servant to the club and he’s improved a lot over time. The club have reaped the rewards with his performances and now they’re going to get some money in for him.”

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