Milligan played all three of the Socceroos World Cup games in Russia and despite impressing was cut loose by Al-Ahli upon his return to the Saudi Arabian club.
After a few months of limbo, the 32-year-old sealed a long-awaited move to Europe with Hibs and in the process has linked up with Maclaren.
The Australian attacker has himself returned to Scotland on a season-long loan from German side Darmstadt and revealed his shock at seeing Milligan join him at Hibernian.
“We have spoken and I was a bit surprised that we actually captured him,” Maclaren told Deadline News.
“He is an experienced player who has been at four World Cups with Australia. He will bring a lot of quality to the side.
“We always talk in the national team that Mark, in terms of ability, is probably one of the best players Australia has produced.
“He has been around in Asia but he has had a fantastic career. Like I say, I am surprised we’ve got him but at the same time happy.”
Visa issues have previously prevented Milligan playing in Europe with Scotland set to mark his first foray in the continent.
The Scottish Premiership now boasts seven Australians and Maclaren believes Hibs is the perfect destination for Milligan.
“He wants to be a part of something successful and that’s what we’re building here,” he said.
“Even when I spoke to him at the World Cup, he was asking me about Scotland.
“He knows it through Tommy Rogic as well, and seeing (Daniel) Arzani there now. Even with the three boys at Hearts...there is a lot of Aussie influence in Scotland now.”