Interest from big clubs gives former Hearts full-back Aaron Hickey ‘a good feeling’

Former Hearts full-back Aaron Hockey says it is a “good feeling knowing there is interest from big clubs” but insists his focus remains very much on Bologna.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 7:00 am
Aaron Hickey in action for Bologna against Spezia Calcio in Seria A on Sunday. The former Hearts man is a regular at his Italian club. Picture: Gabriele Maltinti/Getty

The 19-year-old left wing back has been linked with AC Milan, Celtic and clubs in the Premier League after making a big success of his move to Serie A.

Nearly a year and a half after departing Tynecastle in a £1.5 million move, Hickey has no regrets. Moving on to bigger and better things is something he’d like to do in the future, but he’s in no rush.

“It’s a good feeling knowing there is interest from big clubs,” he said in an interview with The Guardian. “For now my head is in Bologna but I want to try and go to one of the big clubs in the Premier League or similar. That would be the ultimate thing for any footballer.”

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Aaron Hickey in action for Bologna against Spezia Calcio in Seria A on Sunday. The former Hearts man is a regular at his Italian club. Picture: Gabriele Maltinti/Getty

A Glasgow boy, Hickey left Celtic’s academy to join Hearts because he thought he would have a better chance to break into the first team. He was proved right, his outstanding performance in the 2019 Scottish Cup final a month shy of his 17th birthday impressing Celtic so much that they tried to buy him back.

Hickey could also have gone to Bayern Munich, but used the same logic he had used as a teenager to make his decision.

“I came to see Bologna and immediately liked the feel of it all,” Hickey explained. “Serie A was a big attraction, this felt like a good move. I also thought there may well be more opportunity to play here than at a lot of the other teams.

“I am very happy with how it has all worked out, with the choice that I made. They have all been good decisions so far.”

Aaron Hickey in action for Bologna against Spezia Calcio in Seria A on Sunday. The former Hearts man is a regular at his Italian club. Picture: Gabriele Maltinti/Getty

Even shoulder surgery in March, which brought last season to a premature end, has not held Hickey back this season, with Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic playing him whenever he is available.

“So far it has gone really well,” Hickey added. “I thought it might be a case of working my way back into the team after my injuries, that maybe I’d get a few games, but I’ve managed to play a lot and even add a couple of goals as well. So I’m very happy.”