Hearts chief executive Andrew McKinlay believes signings ‘not just making up the numbers’ are helping the Scottish Premiership club – as he praises the likes of Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn.

The Tynecastle club have undergone a year of change following their 2020 relegation to the Championship. They have returned to the top-flight after winning the second-tier, and off the park, McKinlay, manager Robbie Neilson and sporting director Joe Savage have arrived. They have now signed players from big clubs like Liverpool.

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Hearts are in a positive moment. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

McKinlay says it’s all for the better: “There have been a lot of changes over the past year. Around the same time I came in, Robbie came back to the club, then we brought in Joe as sporting director. We’ve made changes in the whole recruitment area and hopefully fans are beginning to see that with the players we’re bringing in.

“Our mantra during this window has been quality, not quantity. It’s easy to say that but I think that is now being borne out by – and I think the fans would agree – the fact we’re adding quality to the squad and not just making up the numbers. I work very closely with Joe and speak to him at least once a day. He’s been great for us.”


The likes of Liverpool talent Woodburn and Brighton’s Alex Cochrane are on-loan in Gorgie. McKinlay hopes some stay beyond this season: “The guys Joe’s brought in as well to help with recruitment have all hit the ground running.

“It’s been really good. We have some loans too and the great thing with them is if they go well, we might be able to turn some of them into permanents. And these are guys that are with top English clubs.”

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