Bjorn Johnsen believes interest in him from English clubs vindicates his decision to join Hearts.
Derby County manager Steve McClaren was at Tynecastle to see the striker produce a man-of-the-match performance against Rangers a fortnight ago and named him as one of four players from the Edinburgh club he was monitoring.
Swansea City have also been credited with an interest in Johnsen, who was yesterday named as SPFL Premiership player of the month for November.
The 25-year-old Norwegian-American, who joined Hearts on a three-year deal in July, admits he is flattered by the links to such high-profile English clubs, and aims to continue flourishing at Tynecastle in order to eventually move on up the career ladder.
“Honestly, that’s what I want,” he said, when asked about the interest in him. “You always want recognition and want big clubs to come and pick you up but right now I am focused here and I can’t tell you what will happen.
“I am really pleased that clubs down south are looking at me as a player and that is what my aspiration is, to play there or play in a big league. The Scottish league right now is on a high and people are watching us so that is a good thing for everyone.
“Not just for me but all the other players. John Souttar is being watched as well and Callum Paterson is always being watched. When Callum is always being watched, we are all being watched as well so that is good for us.”
The Scottish football fraternity have clearly been paying attention to Johnsen of late after he picked up the player of the month for his exploits in November. A double in the win over Motherwell allied to his superb display against Rangers four days later were key to him earning the accolade.
“It’s always nice to get recognition but I think, in terms of getting the partnerships that I felt comfortable with, it just clicked in those games in that [November] stretch,” he said. “I won one in Portugal as well [while with second division side Athletico CP three seasons ago]. In Portugal, they do their awards every two months and I won one for September/October when I first went there. I wasn’t expecting this award, so I’m happy.”