Garang Kuol agrees Hearts move as Australia World Cup striker heads to Tynecastle Park
Australian World Cup striker Garang Kuol will join Hearts on loan from Newcastle United this week after the Edinburgh club’s offer was accepted.
The 18-year-old was given a tour of Hearts’ Riccarton training base last week and has now decided he will spend the rest of the season in Scotland. Newcastle were content to listen to the player and, despite interest from Reading and other English clubs, Kuol has opted for Hearts.
He is due to arrive at Tynecastle Park in the next 24 hours to finalise the paperwork and officially join Robbie Neilson’s side on loan. The presence of Australia World Cup colleagues Kye Rowles, Cammy Devlin and Nathaniel Atkinson helped influence Kuol’s decision.
He only became a Newcastle player on January 1 after completing a transfer from the Australian club Central Coast Mariners. Eddie Howe, the United manager, wants him to gain first-team experience on loan to prepare him for what to expect in British football.
Kuol made two appearances for Australia at the World Cup in Qatar, becoming the youngest player to represent the Socceroos in a World Cup. His appearance in their round-of-16 loss to eventual winners Argentina made him the youngest player to appear in a World Cup knockout match since Pelé in 1958.
He is rated as one of Australia’s brightest footballing prospects and is certain to strengthen the Hearts forward line for the second half of the campaign. Fitness and registration permitting, he could make a debut in maroon in this Friday’s Premiership match against St Mirren.
Hearts are also hopeful of finalising the signing of Japanese forward Yutaro Oda from Vissel Kobe this week. Paperwork for his transfer is in place and he has already agreed a long-term contract.