Robert Snodgrass explains decision to join Hearts until end of season and what he can offer
Hearts have signed former Scotland and West Ham United winger Robert Snodgrass until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.
Snodgrass, who will turn 35 tomorrow, won’t be eligible to play for Hearts in Europe after missing the registration deadline. But he has revealed that Hearts’ tradition, along with the presence of familiar faces in the dressingroom, persuaded him to pen to paper at Tynecastle Park.
“I want to hit the ground running and get myself up to speed,” he told Hearts TV. “I’ve had about five or six offers in Scotland. I talked to everybody, and the tradition of Hearts stood out. It’s a great club and has been like that for many years.
“It’s been one of the main forces in Scottish football for a long time. It’s one where I spoke to Robbie, I knew Steven Naismith, and a lot of the players already. It was a case of assessing the options and choosing the one I felt I had a connection with. I couldn’t wait to get it done and get going.
“I had options down south, but the manager was straight with me and to the point which I liked. There’s been a lot of fantastic players at Hearts over the years. I’m glad that I’m here and I’m glad that I’m getting myself back and ready for a new challenge.”
Hearts have been sifting through the free agent market to bolster their squad since the transfer window closed at midnight on Thursday. They tried to bring in Celtic winger Mikey Johnston on loan before the transfer window closed, but he opted to join Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes.
With nearly 600 career appearances under his belt, most of them in the English Premier League, Snodgrass adds experience to the squad and provides competition for Barrie McKay, Alan Forrest, Gary Mackay-Steven and Josh Ginnelly in wide areas and in the No 10 role.
“My positions have changed over the years, but I’ve always scored and created goals wherever I’ve been,” Snodgrass addded. “When you get into your thirties, manager’s will ask you to play different positions. I’ve played some of my best football as a number ten.
“Listen, I’m all about the team though. The team always comes first. If I can help in anyway, I will. Even if I’m playing or not playing. I’ve been building up the process of getting myself fit and getting myself ready.”
Snodgrass, who is left footed but has often played on the right wing, won the last of his 28 Scotland caps in October 2019. He started his career at Livingston, where he did well enough to earn a move to Leeds United when they were in League One.
He has gone on to spend the bulk of his career in the Premier League at Norwich City, Hull City, West Ham and West Bromwich Albion. He played 18 times for West Brom and Luton in the Championship last season.
Manager Robbie Neilson said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to bring Robert in for the season. He’s got a huge amount of experience and has played at the highest level, both domestically and for his country.
“The knowledge he’ll bring to the squad, as well as his qualities on the pitch, will be invaluable and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Sporting Director Joe Savage added: “Robert had offers elsewhere but after we spoke to him he decided that Hearts was the place to be, and we’re delighted that he’s here.
“He’s a household name in Scotland and has spent years playing at the top level in England, so it was too good an opportunity to pass up and as we’ve stated in the past, we’ll always bring in quality over quantity and wait for the right moment to do so.
“Robert coming in gives Robbie more options and squad depth for our domestic campaign, which is hugely important for us. We’ve got some really talented young players at this club and I hope that they are able to learn from Robert because he really does have a lot to offer.”