Garang Kuol joins Hearts on loan from Newcastle United
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The 18-year-old Australian World Cup striker moves to Tynecastle Park until the end of the season to get more first-team experience after joining Newcastle from Central Coast Mariners on January 1.
“It’s fantastic news that Garang has committed himself to Hearts for the next six months,” Neilson told the club website. “It’s no secret that we were extremely interested in him and he came up for a look around last week. He was impressed with what he saw and what we’re trying to do here, which is pleasing.
“We’re getting a player who is by no means the finished article but there is a lot of talent there – you don’t get called up to and play in the World Cup for nothing.
“He’ll offer us new options going forward as we look to continue our good form and continue to make progress in the league and in the Scottish Cup, and we’re really looking forward to working with him.”
Kuol is Hearts’ third new recruit this week after James Hill arrived on loan from Bournemouth and Yutaro Oda signed from Vissel Kobe. Other English clubs wanted Kuol on loan but he chose Edinburgh to reunite with Australian World Cup colleagues Cammy Devlin, Kye Rowles and Nathaniel Atkinson.
Sporting director Joe Savage added: “We’re thrilled to be able to get this deal done and welcome Garang to Gorgie.
“His talents were courted by some of the biggest clubs in the continent when he was playing in Australia and he went on to play in the World Cup finals, so to be able to bring such an exciting prospect to Hearts speaks volumes about the appeal of our club.
“I have to extend a big thank you to Kwaku Mensah and Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi and Dan Ashworth for placing their trust in us and helping to bring Garang here. We’re all really looking forward to Garang pulling on the maroon jersey and I know our fans will be excited by him too.”
Kuol outlined his delight at moving to Scotland. “I am very happy to be here. I can’t wait to play here in front of these amazing fans. I just felt it was a great team, with great fans, a great stadium, and a great history,” he told Hearts TV.
“The gaffer also persuaded me to come here with the plan that he put to me for my development. Overall, the club has great ambitions and goals and that was something I wanted to be involved in. I think it was a very good decision.
“I obviously played with Kye at the Mariners, he was one of the senior players at the time, but he is a great guy and someone who has helped me a lot. As for Cammy, I have known him since about September and we struck up a connection straight away.
“I would say I am a positive player who tries to get the ball forward and someone who works hard to get goals and assists. I just can’t wait to score in front of these fans at Tynecastle and do a knee-slide celebration.”