Former Hearts striker steps out of 'comfort zone' with move to Turkish top flight

Former Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu has completed a move to the Turkish top flight with Konyaspor.

The hulking forward moves from Championship side Middlesbrough after failing out of favour on Riverside in the first half of last season following a change of manager.

He signs a two-year deal with the option of another to move to the Super Lig. Konyaspor, former two-time champions of Turkey, finished third in the table last season.

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It marks the first time the 27-year-old has moved abroad in his career. He explained on social media why he thought the time was right to try something different.

Uche Ikpeazu celebrates after helping Hearts to defeat Hibs at Easter Road in 2019. Picture: SNS

“I have played football for various clubs all around the UK all my career. But to be great you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and embrace change. Which I’ve always been open to,” he wrote on his Instagram account.

“As soon as I heard a massive club like @konyaspor was interested me it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. Thank you to the president, the board and everyone associated with club for having faith in me and making this happen. I now look forward to scoring in front of you Konya fans. BURADAYIM!"

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Ikpeazu spent two years at Tynecastle between 2018 and 2020 after moving north from Cambridge United. Despite a weak goalscoring record, he remained a popular figure due to his work rate in attack and struck twice in positive results for Hearts at Easter Road.

He left for Wycombe Wanderers following Hearts’ premature relegation to the Championship following the controversial vote to end the 2019/20 season amid the Covid-19 global pandemic.

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