A regular goalscoring centre forward is hard to come by in the modern day. Yet for Hearts, it’s been a tricky issue for quite some time. Many have come and gone but amongst the current crop appears to be one of the worst in quite some time, Craig Wighton.

Still a young lad

The 21-year-old looks bereft of confidence when he pulls on a maroon jersey. The Rangers game at the weekend highlights it. After losing the ball which led to the Gers’ first goal, he continued to saunter around with no real desire to get stuck in and help the team out.

Whilst it feels as though he’s been around for ages, he has scored 10 league goals in his entire career. Naturally, when your tally is as low, the stats don’t make for good reading. Seven in 83 appearances for boyhood idols Dundee is his best rate with 39 of said appearances being starts.

Craig Wighton, playing against Celtic as pictured, is most notable for scoring in a Dundee derby which ended United’s Premiership stay. (Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Loan spells at Brechin and Raith don’t seem to have helped the Dundonian whatsoever. Two in four at City isn’t bad but one in 16 at Rovers certainly isn’t great. So how can Craig Levein justify spending a fee in the region of £200,000 for a supposed striker with as poor a goalscoring record as that?

His only goal this season came in his very first game, a 4-0 win for Dundee in the League Cup away at League 2 Stirling Albion. That can’t be his level if he went on to sign for one of the biggest clubs in the country?

Player with potential?

Hearts fans may talk about the fact they signed John Souttar as a relatively unknown from Dundee United for an alleged similar fee. But he continues to blossom and had a much better reputation when arriving at Tynecastle than when Wighton did.

John Souttar may have arrived at Hearts from Tayside with a greater reputation than Wighton but actually made less appearances for United than his teammate did for Dundee. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Craig Levein likes a project player. One he sees something in and then tries to take them to the next level, as we’ve seen with the likes of Jake Mulraney and Sean Clare. But it appears Wighton can’t make that step up just yet.

A loan spell next season would probably do him the world of good to re-establish himself and regain some much needed confidence.

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