Demetri Mitchell is due to arrive at Hearts’ Spanish training camp today and should make his debut in tomorrow’s friendly against Nuremberg.
The Manchester United defender has agreed a six-month loan with the Edinburgh club, who believe he can solve their problem left-back position. Hearts face Vitesse Arnhem this afternoon in the first of two friendlies at the Oliva Nova resort on the Costa Blanca, but Mitchell is unlikely to be involved. He was flying out to Spain this morning to meet his new team-mates for the first time and is expected to don a maroon shirt for the first time against the Germans tomorrow afternoon. The Tynecastle club confirmed the 21-year-old’s loan agreement last night.
“He is a very attack-minded left-back/left wing-back,” Levein told HeartsTV.
“He was a winger for most of his young career and Manchester United have moved him to left-back and left wing-back and he’s adapted very well indeed.
“I feel quite confident in the left side of the defence, having Christophe there he’s almost like one-and-a-half defenders, so we can be more adventurous on that side, I think.
“There’s always a risk when you bring a young player in, but he’s in amongst other young players so he’ll feel quite comfortable in that regard, he won’t feel the youngest, for sure.
“I’ve met him and he’s a confident kid and very keen and eager to get started, and he’s excited, and that excites me because sometimes when you speak to players about coming to the club and you don’t get a good feeling about it, 99 times out of 100 you just pull the plug.
“This kid gave me a good feeling. He’s desperate to get started, desperate to be involved and play men’s football and show off his skills. I’m hoping that we can both be really good for each other.”
Mitchell’s only senior appearance to date came for United against Crystal Palace at the end of last season. He is an England youth internationalist and is known for his pace and strong left foot.
Levein hopes the full-back gets up to speed against Nuremberg as preparations for next weekend’s Scottish Cup Edinburgh derby against Hibs intensify.
Mitchell is expected to make his competitive Hearts debut in that fixture.
Hearts remain in talks with the Dutch side Go Ahead Eagles about a possible deal for striker Leon de Kogel. The clubs are still negotiating and, as of last night, an agreement had not yet been reached.
The 6ft 4in Dutchman was in Edinburgh earlier this week and was shown round Tynecastle Park and Hearts’ training base on the city’s outskirts. He has now returned home with discussions continuing.
However, one player who has been given the chance to impress at Riccarton is Rico Quitongo. Hearts have taken the son of their former winger Jose on trial with their Under-20 squad.
The 18-year-old left-back was released by Hamilton earlier this month and youth coaches at Riccarton will now run the rule over him in training.