Kenny Anderson is free to leave Hearts if he finds a new club, the Evening News can reveal.
The 23-year-old midfielder held talks with head coach Robbie Neilson about his future and was told he is surplus to requirements. He will be allowed to leave Tynecastle without a fee.
Anderson hasn’t managed an appearance so far this season and hasn’t even made the substitutes’ bench for a league game. He arrived from the Dutch club RKC Waalwijk in February for a minimal fee but failed to make an impact despite scoring against Livingston on his debut.
His contract expires at the end of the season, however Hearts will let him go for nothing if he can find a new club. Neilson explained that quality summer signings plus the emergence of Sean McKirdy from the youth academy had pushed Anderson on to the fringes of the squad.
“Kenny has found it difficult because of the quality we have in those midfield areas,” said Neilson. “McKirdy has come in and he’s developing really well. I’m pleased with him. We also have Gavin Reilly coming into that area, plus Sam Nicholson, Jamie Walker, Billy King and Gary Oliver. Kenny’s found it hard to get any game time. I’ve spoken to Kenny about it and he’s just waiting to see what happens over the course of this transfer window. If he can move somewhere and he wants to go, then he’s free to go. If not then he’ll stay with the group.
“I think his own thoughts are that he wants to stay and fight and try to get into the team. He’s just found it really difficult. We have really good players here but there are also good young players that I need to try and push. I need to try and get them involved in games like Forfar in the League Cup. They need the development time. Kenny is an older player who doesn’t need that.
“I think you feel disappointed if you go somewhere and you don’t get as much game time, but that’s part of football. Kenny did well playing for us in the Championship. We’ve now moved up a level and the players we’ve brought in are the ones who are going to play. Then we’re developing younger ones as well.s.”
Neilson added that Anderson is still keen to forge a career in Scottish football. “There isn’t any interest at the moment. I think there was some interest back in Holland but he’s keen to stay in Scotland.”
Hearts head to Hamilton tomorrow seeking to maintain a 100 per cent start to the Scottish Premiership. Jamie Walker is expected to be available after the winger took an injection to help his knee injury. Neilson reported that Sam Nicholson is a slight doubt, also due to a knee complaint, but that everyone else should be available from the squad which beat Forfar in the League Cup.
“Jamie got an injection in his knee earlier in the week. He got a wee knock and a slight twist and it needs to settle down but he should be fine for tomorrow,” said Neilson. “Buaben will be fine. Sow, Ozturk, Juanma, they’re all fine. It’s really just whether Nicholson will be available. His knee is improving so we’ll see how he is. I think he’ll be okay by tomorrow.”