It’s been an underwhelming few weeks for Hearts. Defeat to Hamilton before the international break just about summed up how poor they have been recently. There are a few positives around the club just now though, one of which is promising Irish striker Aidan Keena.
After a decent loan spell at Dunfermline in the first half of the season, Keena returned to Tynecastle in January.
The striker position has been problematic for Hearts this year. Despite having numerous options, they have very few goalscorers. Steven Naismith has been the man Craig Levein looked to for goals, but a knee injury has possibly ended his season already.
That leaves him with the likes of Uche Ikpeazu, Craig Wighton, Steve MacLean and David Vanecek up top. All four have struggled in the league this year, with just three goals between them in 37 combined Premiership appearances.
Coming up against an Aberdeen side who are fearless away from home will be challenging for Levein. He’ll need a goalscorer to aid his side’s effort and that could come from Keena. He’s only started one first team game for Hearts and it would be a massive gamble. It’s one that is well worth taking though.
A natural finisher
The Irishman has shown on numerous occasions at other clubs and in the reserves how good he can be. Last season he scored eight in 14 games for Queens Park in League One. This season he provided a focal point for Dunfermline in the Championship, netting four times.
Even at Tynecastle he has shown what ability he has. Brought on as a sub against Auchinleck Talbot in Scottish Cup action, it took him just eight minutes to find the net.
Keena has all the ability to succeed in Gorgie. He has great feet, provides pace going forward and even has an eye for goal from distance. He scored a 30 yard screamer against Inverness for Dunfermline this season and a remarkable 40 yard lob for the Spiders last term.
It’s clear that with his pace and his deadly right foot Keena could create that bit of magic for the Jambos. The striker is an exciting player who will get you off your feet when he has the ball, proving just as capable from 30 yards as he is from six.
Having scored regularly for the Pars and Hearts’ reserves this season, it’s time Levein gives him his second start. Keena is a raw talent who would benefit massively from another starting berth.
Hearts need a hero at this moment in time and the Irishman deserves the platform to be that somebody against the Dons this weekend.