New Hearts signing Craig Halkett has admitted that forcing John Souttar and Christophe Berra out of the side will be a “massive challenge” after completing his move from Livingston.

Halkett was captain at the Tony Macaroni Arena and impressed as the West Lothian side punched above their weight in the Championship two seasons ago – before repeating the trick in last season’s Premiership.

16th February 2019, Tony Macaroni Arena, Livingston, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Livingston versus Dundee; Craig Halkett of Livingston challenges for the ball with Andy Dales of Dundee
 (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The former Rangers kid is looking forward to fighting for his place in Craig Levein’s side but admits that is part of the reason he chose to swap Livingston for Gorgie.

“It’ll be a massive challenge (to break into the first team) but it was another reason why I wanted to come here, to play alongside the guys and learn from them,” Halkett told Hearts’ official website.

“Playing against them the last few years I could see how good the partnership John (Souttar) and Christophe (Berra) had together so to go in and stake my claim for a place in the team will be pretty hard but it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to and it’s something that I want to do.”

The 24-year-old has signed a three-year deal at Tynecastle and should be an important addition to Craig Levein’s squad moving forward.

20th January 2019, Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland; Scottish Cup football fourth round, Heart of Midlothian versus Livingston; Craig Halkett of Livingston holds back David Vanecek of Hearts
(photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

After the disappointing end to last season, Levein’s side need to make sure they have the quality in depth to cope with injuries and suspensions – and Halkett’s signing will be a big help there.

With Christophe Berra not getting any younger either, Halkett should be the long-term successor to the defensive stalwart, alongside Souttar.

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