What Man City loanee Ryotaro Meshino is doing to help settle in at Hearts
Hearts’ Japanese loanee Ryotaro Meshino is learning English three times a week to help him settle in Scotland. After choosing the Edinburgh club over several other loan options, the Manchester City forward is determined to maximise his experience at Tynecastle Park.
Meshino, 21, has made six appearances for Hearts since arriving in August on a season-long loan from the English champions. His performances have been bright and his English is improving as he works hard to fit into the Riccarton dressing room.
“He isn’t fluent in English but he is taking lessons three times a week and that has improved,” said manager Craig Levein. “The boys are teaching him a few words in the dressing room that maybe they shouldn’t be teaching him but he is a bubbly wee character. I think that will help him.
“This is a fair change in culture, it’s a fair distance away from his home, it’s a different language. Most foreign players who come to the UK, particularly from Japan, are very unlikely to be speaking fluent English. He’s got that to contend with, plus the football and the weather. He has been more to forefront in the dressing room that I would have thought.
“The fact he chose to come here was a big plus for me. He did have another couple of options which he did go and investigate. I know he wants to be here. Sometimes you get players on loan because their club wants them to go on loan but the player himself isn’t 100 per cent sure. That’s never a particularly good situation.”
The Hearts management team have noted Meshino’s robust nature despite his lack of height. “That’s one of the things about him I like. His attitude is first-class,” added Levein. “He doesn’t roll about and feign injury. He wants to score and a lot of times he does get fouled but tries to keep going. It’s more important for him to score than to get a free-kick.
“He has taken a little bit of time to get up to full speed and I don’t think he is there yet. I think the three games in a week took their toll on him the other week. He wasn’t quite at his best against St Mirren. There is no doubt he has helped us. I’m really excited about how much he can help us going forward.”