Hearts set out criteria for new striker as they look to make two signings

Hearts covet a new striker with specific attributes as part of their January transfer window recruitment plan.

The Hearts management team of Robbie Neilson, Lee McCulloch and Gordon Forrest plan to sign a new striker.
The Hearts management team of Robbie Neilson, Lee McCulloch and Gordon Forrest plan to sign a new striker.

Manager Robbie Neilson explained to the Evening News the criteria for signing a centre-forward as he tries to strengthen his attack.

He also wants to add a winger to the squad and has made both positions top priority. Officials at Tynecastle Park have spoken with several potential targets so far.

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New sporting director Joe Savage is in situ at Riccarton to help Neilson and his coaching staff identify players who fit the bill.

“The two main things we are looking to do in this window is get a striker and a wide player in,” explained the manager.

“We need something a bit different up front, somebody with a bit of physicality who will link the play. You saw from the game on Saturday night at Dundee that there wasn’t a lot of football played. The surface was poor and starting to freeze up so teams are going direct.

“Sometimes you need that link when it’s like that. Teams will press the living daylights out of you and you need to be able to play through that, link up and secure possession further up the pitch. We are looking for somebody who can do that for us.”

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Any new arrival will be asked to partner current strikers Liam Boyce and Craig Wighton at different times. Neilson is willing to use two strikers in certain matches but feels a more physical type is needed.

“It would be somebody who can play beside Boyce at times and beside Wighton at times as well,” he added. “Boyce can hold the ball up but I think he is also technically a very good player.

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“If we can get somebody in to take that strain off him – linking play, winning flick-ons and securing the ball up the pitch – I think it’s important. It would also give us a different option.”

Hearts brought in eight new players in total during last summer’s transfer window but won’t recruit as heavily this time. Their aim is to add a couple of players to reinforce the bid for automatic promotion to the Premiership.

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