PROSPECTIVE Hearts signing Arturas Rimkevicius today declared he is ready to answer the club’s goalscoring problems – starting against Hibs in the New Year Edinburgh derby.
The Lithuanian striker is due to arrive in Scotland on Monday after an explosive season in his homeland, where he scored 41 times in 38 matches in all competitions.
Hearts majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov is sending him to Scotland in the hope he can solve manager John McGlynn’s attacking troubles. The club have scored just 14 times in 16 SPL games this season so far.
Rimkevicius, 29, is out of contract at the Lithuanian A Lyga club Siauliai. He spoke to the Evening News to explain that he is already targeting a debut against Hibs on January 3.
“I fly to Scotland on Monday and I will start training with the team on Tuesday,” said the player. “My first game will be in January against Hibernian. When I come to Edinburgh I will sign the contract. There is no fee because I am a free player.
“I have had a good season in Lithuania and I scored two goals for my country against Armenia [last month]. I am confident and I know that I need to score. I believe I will score goals in Scotland.
“Mr Romanov told me to go to Hearts because he said I am what Hearts need right now. I had a very good chance in Greece with Asteras Tripolis earlier in my career, but I got an injury and the coach changed. This is my second big chance.”
Rimkevicius previously played as a trialist for Hearts in a pre-season friendly with Middlesbrough in 2005, when he was 22. He stressed he is a much more mature player now.
“That was like a gift to me from Mr Romanov,” he continued. “I had played some good games with Kaunas and Mr Romanov gave me a present, which was to go to Edinburgh and play for Hearts. It was an opportunity for me to stay, but I think I was too young. Mr Romanov wanted me to play for Kaunas that year.
“I think I have grown up as a football player since then. I am very much ready for the Scottish league.”