Donis Avdijaj: I can't wait to score goals for Daniel Stendel at Hearts

Kosovo winger says coach was key in decision to choose Tynecastle

Monday, 20th January 2020, 6:20 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 6:28 pm
Hearts manager Daniel Stendel with new signing Donis Avdijaj. Pic: Heart of Midlothian FC

Donis Avdijaj joined Hearts because he is desperate to work with manager Daniel Stendel and says he cannot wait to score goals in maroon.

The 23-year-old Kosovan international forward has signed a contract until the summer and could make his debut at Ross County on Wednesday.

He left Trabzonspor on Friday after agreeing to terminate his contract in Turkey. Despite interest from other European clubs, he headed to Tynecastle Park to continue his career under Stendel.

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He previously played with Schalke 04 in Germany, the Austrian side Sturm Graz, plus Dutch clubs Roda JC and Willem II. Having known Stendel since his formative years in Germany, Avdijaj said the coach was the pivotal reason he chose Hearts over other European clubs this time.

"I am where I want to be. The important thing to come to Hearts was the coach and I am happy I can work with him," he told Hearts TV. "I know him from before. The people here are very helpful. Everyone tries to help everyone and I like this mentality.

"It was my wish at my old club to get out of the contract so I could go direct to the club. I had really good options but it was important to me to come and be the player I can be. The coach knows me from before and I know him. We had a talk and it was clear that I want to work with him. He was the main guy and why I came here.

"I'm really happy I can work with him now. It's from both sides, the club and me. The club gives me heart and I want to pay that back, especially for the coach. I can't wait to show the people here who I am.

"The team has quality. They are not in the place where they would normally be but we have one way to go, everyone together to take as many wins as we can."

Avdijaj is considered something of a marquee signing by Hearts fans given his international pedigree. He welcomed the fact supporters followed his flight from Istanbul to Edinburgh on Monday morning via the internet and social media.

"I like it, of course. At all my clubs I have a had a good relationship with my fans," he said. "In my Netherlands club, in Austria and in Germany, I had my own songs by the fans. I love the fans and I like emotions in the game.

"At Hearts, I saw in the last games that the fans are standing behind the team. It does not matter which position. I can say this is a family and I want to be part of this family.

"My wish was to go somewhere where the fans want me, where they are happy that I am here. I have that feeling about the club and about the people who live in the city. I was here for two days and it feels like all of the city knows me, even though I did not sign before. Everyone wants me to come here and get a lot of wins with the club in the second period of the season."

He pledged to do everything possible to help Hearts avoid relegation from the Ladbrokes Premiership. "I will let the people react themselves. I can just say I will win, I will fight for every win. Now I am a player of Hearts so every fan, every player and every worker of this club is now my family. I will fight for them and I will be there every second.

"I did my first training and at the start you need to know each other so you go a little bit slowly. I can't wait to score my first goals for this club."