Hearts have completed the signing of Northern Ireland Under-21 internationalist Bobby Burns on a three-year contract.
The 18-year-old joins from Northern Ireland Premiership side Glenavon after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee. He plays mainly as an attack-minded midfielder but is versatile and can also play left-back.
Burns won Glenavon's Player of the Year award after helping them finish third. He scored eight times in 41 appearances and claimed 12 assists in the league. He has already been capped at Under-21 level by Northern Ireland and trained with Michael O'Neill's senior squad.
He joins Hearts as a first-team squad member and will report to Riccarton for the start of pre-season training in June. Despite interest from other clubs, Burns chose Hearts because of their reputation for giving young players opportunities.
"It’s every boy's dream to become a professional footballer and it’s brilliant to do it at such a big club," he told the Edinburgh club's website. "I had options to go at 16 but I stayed to do my A Levels, and I had other options now but I wanted to come to Hearts because of the great record of playing young players and because of the good Northern Ireland connection.
"It’s a big club too and I think, having played senior football at Glenavon, I didn’t want to go to another club where I would’ve been playing development games. I want to come and take on the challenge of trying to get as many first-team games as a I can.
"The ambition is to stake a claim for a first-team place. It was the same at my previous club, Glenavon. As a young player, it’s difficult to get into the team but I’m just going to give it everything I’ve got and see where it takes me.
"The good thing with Hearts is they’ve got a great record of playing young players so hopefully, if I can play well, I’ll get my opportunity."