When Harry Cochrane burst onto the scene, it appeared as though Hearts had unearthed a bright youngster worthy of a first team spot. However, he’s only played 246 minutes of first team league action with the Jambos this season.
Question marks begin to emerge as to why he doesn’t feature on a more regular basis. Last season, teenagers played more first team minutes at Hearts than at any other team in a European top flight. The likes of Harry Cochrane and Anthony McDonald, now on loan at Inverness, were instrumental in that.
New kid on the block
Cochrane registered 25 Premiership appearances last term. After a memorable goal against Celtic at just 16, development is of the utmost importance in order for him to fulfil his potential.
His name is firmly lodged in Hearts’ history books after becoming the club’s youngest ever league goalscorer (16 years and 8 months old). His opener set Hearts on their way to ending Celtic’s 69 domestic game unbeaten run with a 4-0 hammering.
Having seen McDonald depart for the Highlands, you can’t help but feel as though Cochrane should have departed on loan to get game time under his belt too.
Of course, you must be patient with young players. Craig Levein knows that and the reshaping of Hearts’ academy is his doing. It’s as though he’s set a challenge for Cochrane to prove that he’s worthy of minutes.
Competition is healthy
With Hearts recruiting heavily in the summer, particularly in midfield, chances have come few and far between. He’s got to find a way of replacing the likes of Arnaud Djoum and the trio of summer arrivals – Peter Haring, Oliver Bozanic and Olly Lee.
After all, Levein has stressed his belief that McDonald and Cochrane are good enough to play in the English Premier League one day. It’s up to Cochrane to show us that he was right.