James Hill reveals his secret weapon to help Hearts after sealing a loan move from Bournemouth
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Speaking to Hearts TV, he described himself as a physical and aggressive defender as he prepares to turn 21. He also possesses an extra attribute which can help Hearts in attack. “I am over the moon to get this deal done and I just can’t wait to get started and get playing in front of this big crowd. It is a massive club with a great history, but the players in this team will definitely help me to improve as a player,” he said.
“I would say I am an aggressive defender. I like to enjoy the ball at my feet, but I enjoy defending and working hard. Every moment I get to step on the pitch, I never give up, but I am a very physical defender and I have a little attribute of a long-throw that I like to try and contribute with.”
Hill is an England Under-21 internationalist who spent four years at Fleetwood Town before joining Bournemouth for a fee reportedly in excess of £1million. “The standard of player that I have been playing with is a lot higher, but I think that has improved me. Coming from Fleetwood and that very physical league, to then having to try and improve myself as a player on the ball at Bournemouth, I think I am really improving in that area and that is something I would like to show here.
“I think you get a bit of everything in this league. It is very physical but also very tactical. For me, I need to learn to play in front of these big crowds as I grow up and I think here is the best place for me to do that.”
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson said Hill’s strengths will help the defence cope without the injured Craig Halkett. “I’m happy that we’ve been able to bring James in until the end of the season. We’ve been unlucky with injuries in defence, and while the guys in there have been performing really well it was always high on our priorities list to get another defender in.
“James has fantastic experience of playing at a high level down south and with England U20s and U21s and I’m sure that will stand him in good stead when the time comes for him to play for Hearts.”
Hearts sporting director Joe Savage added: “James was a man in demand and we’ve managed to beat off a lot of competition to get him, so we’re really pleased.
“Being able to bring in players from England, particularly an England U21 internationalist like James, shows how highly regarded this club is held in footballing circles and that’s credit to all of the hard work that’s done on and off the park at Hearts.
“We know the areas we want to strengthen and our fans can rest assured that we’re continuing to work away to make sure that this is a successful transfer window for the club.”