Cameroon international Arnaud Djoum was a pleasure to watch during his first couple of seasons at Tynecastle.
A ruptured Achilles tendon, however, set his progress back. Now 29, Djoum seems to have rediscovered his fine form.
The Hearts ace has always had the talent, but since his injury he hasn’t been the same. Performances where he left defences bamboozled by his footwork and technique were distant memories. Saturday’s Motherwell performance showed that these days could be back.
Djoum rolled back the years against Motherwell
Whilst it wasn’t his best performance in maroon, he showed in flashes that he is slowly getting back up to speed.
Hearts boss Craig Levein trusts Djoum. He’s stuck by the 29-year old through his injury problems, which is a testament to Djoum’s ability.
His third season at Tynecastle got ruined by a long term injury, limiting him to 16 Premiership appearances last term. His performances had dipped prior to the injury, and haven’t properly picked up since.
He always put in a shift, but wasn’t able to find that cutting edge or killer pass that he was able to find with ease during his early days in Gorgie. He has been played on both wings, but it’s through the middle Djoum is most effective.
In recent weeks, he has played an attacking midfield role in Levein’s 3-5-2 formation, and it has worked to the 29-year old’s benefit. In a game largely void of quality against Motherwell, Djoum was the shining light.
Michael Smith deputised well at centre half and Peter Haring impressed in defensive midfield, but Djoum added quality to the game. His passes were accurate, he made lung bursting runs from midfield and had a willingness to get on the ball.
Djoum looked like a lost cause at Tynecastle, another player who failed to live up to the hype. His performance on Saturday, however, showed he is more than capable of rolling back the years.