Hearts manager Craig Levein has started to turn his attention to next season with the reportedly imminent signing of Steven Naismith and a number of trialists appearing for the Jambos reserves – but keeping John Souttar at Tynecastle should be Craig Levein’s priority.
The defender has been one of Hearts’ most consistent performers this season and can still get much better in the future as he continues to develop alongside Christophe Berra.
It won’t be a surprise this summer if there are a number of clubs sniffing around the Scotland international and try to lure him away from Gorgie.
The 22-year-old seems as though he’s been around forever but is still learning his trade and has shown all the attributes to grow into a top defender.
Playing regularly for Hearts with the scrutiny of the Tynecastle fans can only help Souttar continue to grow and when he does eventually leave Tynecastle, the Jambos should be looking at a windfall.
With Hearts only five points off third place in the league table, a strong run of results until the end of the season could even see the Jambos in Europe next season.
The prospect of playing in the Europa League against better players and increasing his profile further is one that will surely appeal to Souttar.
Hearts must do everything in their power to make sure they keep the defender around long enough to see it through.