Hearts have thanked defender Jimmy Dunne for all his efforts during his loan spell after confirming that he won’t be returning to the club for the second half of the season.
Republic of Ireland Under-21 internationalist Dunne arrived from Burnley in August to deputise for injured captain Christophe Berra and he put in a series of impressive displays at centre-half.
The 21-year-old became a favourite with the fans and despite manager Craig Levein’s attempts to broker a second loan agreement, a deal could not be struck. Dunne is wanted by clubs in England and it is anticipated that he will move elsewhere on loan for the remainder of the season.
Hearts plan to bring in Leeds defender Conor Shaughnessy on loan to fill the void, but the club were quick to praise Dunne for his time at Tynecastle.
A statement on the Hearts website read: “Jimmy Dunne has returned to Burnley following the end of his loan deal.
“The 21-year-old joined Hearts back in August after club captain Christophe Berra picked up in injury in the second league game of the season, leaving him sidelined for the next four months.
“Jimmy featured 14 times for the Jambos and scored twice, netting against St Johnstone and Rangers.
“The centre-half’s form at Tynecastle saw him win a maiden call-up to the full Republic of Ireland squad.
“The club would like to thank Jimmy for all of his efforts in a maroon shirt and wishes him well in the next chapter of his career.”