Hearts star John Souttar backs brother to shine in England

Harry Souttar has joined Stoke City
Harry Souttar has joined Stoke City
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Hearts defender John Souttar watched his younger brother Harry make a dream move to the English Premier League but insisted he has absolutely no regrets at turning down his own chance to head south of the border.

Like Harry, Souttar was only 17 when Dundee United agreed a £600,000 bid from Sunderland nearly three years ago, only for the player to reject the switch claiming it wasn’t the right time to go, saying he didn’t want to become another “lost Scot” in England.

But now he has given the thumbs up to 6ft 6in Harry’s decision to join Mark Hughes’ Stoke City after the Tannadice club, for whom he’d only made three first-team appearances, accepted the Potters’ £200,000 offer.

Today the Tynecastle player said: “I’ve spoken to my brother about it a lot. It will be good for him to go down there. I turned down a move to Sunderland but I think the circumstances were different. I was playing at 17 most weeks in the SPL. We were near the top of the league.

“It’s completely different for Harry who is in the Championship and is not really involved with the team. I was a bit more settled, playing games. If he was playing every week it would be different.”

Despite his brother’s age, Souttar believes he has what it takes to make it in England, saying: “He’s physically big. We’re similar players, but he is taller. Technically, he is very good and he has all the attributes to be a top player.”

Revealing he’ll be at the other end of the phone to offer Harry any advice he needs, Souttar insisted his decision to stay in Scotland was the right one, stressing how much he’s enjoying his move from Tayside to Edinburgh.

The Scotland Under-21 player said: “You can’t look back. The decision was made, I’m in a great place now. I’m 19 and I’ve played 80 games in the Premiership. That experience is second to none and a lot of people don’t have that.

“I’ve been through situations and bad times and I think it’s made me stronger as a person and a player.”