Hearts: Craig Levein's 34-man squad analysed - who are the important first-team players, the back-ups and the ones who could move on?

It is not new information that Hearts have a large squad; full of internationals, experienced individuals, talented youngsters and some with little future at Tynecastle.

Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 1:56 pm

However, Gary Mackay's comments in the Evening News brought to light how bloated Craig Levein's squad may be with 34 players. It will rise to 35 when the club get the Ryotaro Meshino loan deal from Manchester City over the line. Taking Mackay's comments on board we look at each player's status within the squad; the players who are first on the team sheet, the important squad members and those who could do with a move away.

Brought in on loan from Manchester United to be No.1. Important first-team player.
Dropped to third choice. Very much back-up role now and could look for a move.

Sign up to our Hearts newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Signed a new deal. Second choice.
Had a three-month loan spell in Toronto. Another loan move would be best now he is fourth choice.
One of the first names on the team sheet. No question.
Firmly a backup option behind Michael Smith.
Captain and first-team player, whether he starts if everyone fit is open for discussion.
Another player who is all but assured of his place in the team. One of the more impressive performers so far this season.
Important first-team player and an almost certain starter when back fit.
Fourth choice centre-back. A back-up.
Still a precocious talent but has made himself undroppable at left-back despite only recently turning 17.
After returning from a long-term injury has shown in his fleeting appearances he will be a very good squad player and can easily step in at left-back.
Won't return for a few weeks yet but will have to fight to get near the left-back position.
The sooner he recovers from injury the better. A crucial part of the team.
Signed on a four-year deal. An important part of the first team.
Slipped down the pecking order with the arrivals of Loic Damour and Glenn Whelan, plus the emergence of Andy Irving. Will likely have to move on to get first-team football.
His experience and quality will see him become one of those players who is written into every line-up if fit.
His versatility is both a positive and negative. It allows him to fill in different positions but he may not nail one of those positions down. First-team player.
Has struggled since bursting on to the scene as injuries have set him back. Regular football, most likely on loan, could aid his development.
The Englishman wants to return down south.
Not yet found a position at Hearts and may be another to benefit with a loan spell.
Has been one of Hearts' best performers so far, carving out a role for himself in the team.
An important first-team player before his injury.
Emerged to become a key player. Offers pace and width in a team which can lack it.
One of the few wingers in the squad. Expected to return to the first-team fold soon.
Impressed early in the Betfred Cup. A player fans would like to see more of but Craig Levein wants to instil defensive discipline in the player before he can become a regular.
A surprise inclusion in recent squads. Could find himself down the pecking order and out on loan again once other forwards are fit.
His importance at Hearts has somewhat diminished but still a key first-team player.
Undisputed leading No.9 at the club.
Experienced squad player.
Will get game time throughout the season but as back-up. If he wants regular football a loan move would be best.
Hampered by injuries. He has a long way to go to convincing the home support of a place in the first-team.
In all likelihood his future lies away from Tynecastle.