Juanma: I can’t wait to start scoring for Hearts

Juanma headed straight to Riccarton after 'arriving in Edinburgh to sign his contract with Hearts
Juanma headed straight to Riccarton after 'arriving in Edinburgh to sign his contract with Hearts
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New Hearts striker Juanma has revealed he can’t wait to start scoring goals in Scotland.

The 24-year-old signed a three-year contract at Riccarton yesterday, pending international clearance after he secured his release from the Greek club Kalloni.

Juanma touched down at Edinburgh airport just after 10am yesterday morning and headed straight to Riccarton to sign his deal. He explained to the Hearts website that he is delighted to join such a big club and will work tirelessly to become a success.

“I’m very happy to be here and very anxious to get started. I can’t wait to get the season underway and work hard,” he stated. “The facilities are great. It’s a big club and I can see that now. I’ve been particularly impressed by the family feeling at the club and that was apparent from the moment that I arrived.

“I want to contribute as much as possible to the team and score goals. I try not to speak about my own strong points, that’s for other people to judge. But I’m 100 per cent with the staff and players here and I’ll give them everything that they demand of me.” Juanma is known as a strong and mobile forward who previously played with clubs such as Deportivo Alaves in Spain and Asteras Tripoli in Greece. He finished last season as Kalloni’s top scorer with seven goals but they could not persuade him to stay.

Neilson travelled overseas last month to meet Juanma and spell out his long-term plans for Hearts. The player had been a target for the Tynecastle hierarchy since January and the head coach explained how months of groundwork and negotiations finally paid off.

“I’m delighted to get him. We spent a lot of time over the summer speaking to Juanma and meeting him. I’m pleased to get it done,” said Neilson. “We thought it was going to get done a few weeks ago and we had some issues with the contractual situation in Greece, but we finally got it over the line. Craig [Levein, director of football] and Clive, Juanma’s agent, did a lot of work on it.

“He’ll be a big asset for us. He brings physicality and he’ll hopefully bring goals as well. He’s a good player, technically very good, great in the air, and has good link-up play. And he’s a great character, so I’m pleased to get him.”