He watched from the stand as the Tynecastle side lost 2-1 against Preston North End at Deepdale on Tuesday night. Manager Robbie Neilson decided not to risk the 26-year-old just hours after his six-figure transfer from Belgian club Beerschot went through.
“I was delighted to get Shankland over the line. Along with him and [Liam] Boycey, we need players to put the ball in the net. We’ll see him on Saturday against Stoke, Preston was just a bit too early because of the paperwork.
“We just decided to leave him out. He’s done five weeks pre-season and played a couple of games for Beerschot so he’s pretty close to starting.”
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“I was really pleased with a lot of the game,” added Neilson. “Preston are an established Championship team and I thought we competed really well.
“You want to win every single game but the key for us is to keep developing and I thought it was a learning curve for a lot of the boys. There was a lot of physicality that you need down here. We matched it at times and sometimes we didn’t.
“I was delighted to give Kye his debut, we had been waiting for him to come and get started so I’m really pleased. I thought he looked good, he’s powerful and smooth and good on the ball.”