Ryotaro Meshino: Craig Levein opens up on his meeting with prospective Hearts loanee

Craig Levein has revealed details of his meeting with Hearts’ incoming loanee Ryotaro Meshino – declaring the Japanese forward eager to succeed in Scotland.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 10:30 pm
Ryotaro Meshino has impressed back in Japan. Pic: Lionel Piguet/JSoccer Magazine

Meshino is due to arrive in Edinburgh in the next few days once visa documents are finalised. He will spend the rest of the season on loan at Hearts from his new club, Manchester City.

Whilst not wishing to create undue hype before the 21-year-old dons a maroon shirt, the Tynecastle manager admitted being impressed during their discussions.

“He’s a human being so I can’t say for certainty that he’s going to come here, settle and be the next great thing for Scottish football,” said Levein.

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“What I can say is that he’s an extremely talented boy and when I met him during discussions – provided Austin MacPhee [Levein’s assistant] was translating properly – he certainly seemed hungry and is desperate to do well.

“The culture in Japan is one of hard work and team work. So that I can feel good about.”

Levein admitted Meshino’s move is timely following the broken leg suffered by Hearts forward Jamie Walker last week. The Japanese should be the last summer signing at Tynecastle.

“Meshino was something different that came out of left field,” explained Levein. “If Jamie had got injured and we didn’t have the Meshino signing ongoing, then we’d have needed to do something else.

“Perhaps we could have looked at keeping a hold of some of the younger ones instead of putting them out on loan. I might yet keep one or two of the younger ones just in case there’s a problem.

“Jamie plays anywhere along the front line and Meshino is the same. When we see Meshino depends on the process it takes to get it done. Obviously, it’s got to be done before the window closes so we’ve got ten days.

“Now we’re over the first major hurdle, he needs to get a visa, then he needs to come in the country and get a medical. I can’t push it any quicker than the process needs so we’ll have to wait and see when he’s available.”