New Hearts signing Musa Drammeh reveals his ambitions with a message for Tynecastle fans

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The Spanish striker sees Scotland as his own land of opportunity

Tall, athletic, and powerful, Musa Drammeh looks the part. The latest addition to Hearts’ forward line speaks decent English with a strong Spanish accent, and is relishing the prospect of Scottish football’s more physical approach compared to his homeland. He appears to be an even mix of British and Hispanic footballing traits.

Despite being only 22, Drammeh is driven to progress his career to the next level. Hence choosing Hearts above all other contract offers this summer, including two from the English Championship. The exposure and challenges potentially awaiting him during his three-year contract depict Scotland as his very own land of opportunity. He is mature enough to articulate his thoughts on it.

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Drammeh left Sevilla for Tynecastle despite being on the periphery of the Spanish club’s first-team squad because he felt Hearts could satisfy his ambitions. He faces the fight of his life for game time at a club carrying three players for every position, and in which Lawrence Shankland is literally the undroppable centre-forward due to his predatory goalscoring record.

Drammeh might need to wait, show patience and play his way into contention. He is prepared for that. Just don’t expect him to accept a bit-part role or stay in the background for long. This is a young man with spadeloads of desire to make an impression in maroon. He arrives for this interview at Hearts’ pre-season training base in Tenerife looking confident and assured about his reasons for being here.

“I am really ambitious,” he says. “I want to make my name here and I want to leave a part of me here. When the moment arrives that I have to go, I want all the fans to remember me with good memories. I can play in all the attacking positions. Last season I played right-wing but I can play as a forward, or left-wing or in the middle. I think I am a player who can play many different positions. I prefer to run in behind but I like to run one-against-one too.

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“Obviously, Hearts is a good opportunity to play in Europe. When I talked with the coach, he gave me confidence and spoke about the project with me. That really motivated me. With all the fans, a club that plays in the top division, it's a really good move for me. I met my team-mates and I am really happy to be here.”

The chance to sample European league-stage football during the season ahead is an understandable draw for someone coming from a Spanish B team. However, it is worth noting that Drammeh had plenty plus points to his time in Seville. The people he trained with and learned from are literally household names there.

“It was so good because last year I trained with the first team every day for the whole year. That helped me a lot to learn as a player about how they play,” he explains. “I couldn't play with the first team because of some circumstances. I remember my time there with good memories but it is finished and now I am with Hearts. [Ivan] Rakitic impressed me a lot, and also Suso. Isaac Romero has been promoted to the first team and he is a good friend of mine. The coach who gave me the most confidence is [Jose Luis] Mendilibar. He trained me with so much respect.”

Mendilibar, who won the 2023 Europa League in with Sevilla and the 2024 Conference League with Olympiakos, is a hard act for Steven Naismith to follow. Hearts are not out to mimic others, though. Drammeh liked what he heard from them from the very first phonecall. “The first time I heard about Hearts was from my agent. He told me about them, and the second time I spoke with the coach, with Will [Lancefield, head of recruitment] and George [Brown, data analyst]. They told me about the team and about the idea with me and it sounded really good.”

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The unique and at-times unforgiving nature of Scottish football appealed to the young forward. “Yes, it's different,” he laughs. “I know this and I prefer it like this. Personally, I think my football is more like Scottish or English than Spanish. I like the physical side, I prefer that. I think it was in the middle of May [when Hearts first made contact]. I had other options at that moment. I had two offers from the English Championship. In January, they contacted me to go there but Sevilla said no.

“When I saw all the offers I had from all the teams, I had to pick Hearts because it's the best option for me. Scottish football, with European football, I think is going to be great for my development. I like to prove myself at something new and play in a first division. That is a lot for me.”

And what about the really burning issue? How do you get in the team ahead of Shankland? Drammeh takes a long-term view. “Obviously, Shankland is a top footballer. To achieve what he achieved is very difficult but we work for this. Nobody knows what can happen in the future.”

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