LITHUANIAN forward Arturas Rimkevicius has made a sound impression on Hearts’ coaching staff during his first week training at Riccarton.
Manager John McGlynn today described the 29-year-old as a “typical striker who wants to shoot all the time”, hinting that the player is likely to sign once Hearts’ transfer embargo ends on Sunday.
Rimkevicius arrived in Edinburgh at the start of last week after scoring 41 goals in 38 games in all competitions this year. He began training with Hearts last Tuesday and looked sharp and direct with a clear eye for goal. He is available as a free agent after leaving the Lithuanian A Lyga club FK Šiauliai.
The SPL are due to lift the 60-day signing ban imposed on the Tynecastle club for paying October’s wages late. That ends this weekend, leaving Hearts free to register new players as of January 1 when the winter transfer window opens. Rimkevicius told the Evening News last week that he expects to sign in time to face Hibs in the New Year Edinburgh derby on January 3.
“He’s been very sharp,” reported McGlynn. “He looks like a typical striker, he wants to shoot all the time, which is great. He is quite obviously lacking in fitness because he’s been off for a month (the Lithuanian season ended in mid-November) while our guys are obviously right in the middle of their season. Our players are up to speed whereas he’s had a month off, but that isn’t a problem. The sharpness will come in the time that he’s here.”
On the possibility of signing Rimkevicius, McGlynn added: “We obviously have to make sure that the transfer embargo is lifted and then take it from there.”
The manager has called for attacking reinforcements several times this season but is encouraged at seeing his team score four goals in their last two matches against Aberdeen and St Johnstone. “The (4-4-2) system makes us more open. Maybe the score could’ve been 6-5 on Saturday,” said McGlynn. “We created chances previously playing 4-3-3 and we’re creating chances now. The difference is we’ve started to take a couple of them. We took two on Saturday against St Johnstone and we’ve had others. That’s the main difference for me.
“The formation itself doesn’t win you a football match. I don’t actually mind what formation I play. I’ve gone on record saying the Hearts youth teams play 4-3-3 all the way through and that is the case. I’ve also said that, in the meantime, I need to get results. That’s also still the case.”