Hearts spell out their reasons for Shay Logan deal and why he could sign a permanent contract
Hearts today revealed their reasons for signing defender Shay Logan on loan from Aberdeen.
The move caught many supporters by surprise following defeats to Brora Rangers and Queen of the South in the last week.
Management at Riccarton want to reinforce the defence for the final five games of the season to prevent the kind of sloppy goals conceded against Brora and Queens.
Logan, 33, arrived on loan until the end of the campaign and is expected to make his debut at right-back against Dunfermline this weekend.
Depending on how he fares in the coming weeks, he could find himself offered a permanent contract for next season. His deal at Pittodrie expires in June.
Hearts are concerned that left-back Stephen Kingsley’s groin injury may not be fully healed before the campaign finishes.
That could mean Michael Smith moving to either centre-back or left-back when he returns from international duty with Northern Ireland later this week.
Logan’s experience as a seasoned Premiership full-back gives manager Robbie Neilson options.
“We feel we need a bit of reinforcement at the back,” Neilson told the Evening News. “Defensively, we are conceding too many goals and I think we need a bit of change in there, somebody to come in and bring a bit of competition.
“Shay can come in at right-back and Michael can shift across. He can play right across the back four so we felt we needed that wee bit extra with Stephen being out potentially for the rest of the season.”
Logan has started only three matches for Aberdeen this season and switched to Edinburgh seeking more game time. Neilson consulted the recently-departed Pittodrie manager Derek McInnes before making his latest signing.
“I spoke to Derek about him. Shay has played in Scotland for a good number of years so I’ve known about him. He’s got good experience. We just need somebody to come in and give us a wee bit of help at the back.
“He hasn’t played a lot but he’s been training every day with Aberdeen. He should be ready to go for Saturday if needed.”
Asked if a permanent deal could transpire this summer, Neilson replied: “Potentially. We will have a look, see how he does and see what he thinks about things. Then we can take it from there.
“It’s not something we have discussed initially. Shay just wants to come here, play games and enjoy himself again because he hasn’t played a lot recently.
“The main thing for us is he’s got experience and he knows the game in Scotland. There is no doubt we have conceded poor goals recently and it’s something we shouldn’t be doing.”
The Edinburgh club announced on Monday that defender Christophe Berra will leave when his contract finishes at the end of the season.
He is expected to be one of many departures over the weeks and months ahead. Hearts intend to revamp their squad with a number of new signings in several positions as they prepare to return to the Premiership.