Former Hearts manager Craig Levein has explained why Josh Doig was released from Tynecastle amid links to the likes of Leeds United.

Several Premier League clubs, including Leeds United and Leicester City, are interested in the Hibs full-back after his breakthrough Leith season. But with fellow promising left-back Aaron Hickey in front of him at Hearts, Levein didn’t give him a chance while first-team boss at Tynecastle.

Teams such as Leeds United are keen.

Teams such as Leeds United are keen. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

He’s explained his decision now Leeds United and others are tracking his progress (BBC): “Great kid. Absolutely brilliant boy. He was one that had Hickey in front of him and had two other players that were ahead of him. But he was always one that worked really, really hard and it became a decision about whether he was going to get game time.

“For me, the critical thing is that if you have players in the team, particularly at that age, that you’re not going to give game time to, then you’ve got to let them go. You’ve got to give the kid an opportunity to go and make his career somewhere else and I believe that’s what happened.

“From the boy’s point of view, he’s gone across to Hibs and done really, really well. I’m really pleased for him because he’s a smashing kid. He’s an athlete and such a hard working kid. People will say he’s gone from Hearts to Hibs but I was thrilled for him. He had done okay at Hearts but not well enough to play on a regular basis.

Explaining his choice. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“What’s worked well for him is that at the time he’s left, he’s physically quite well prepared. It hasn’t been a huge problem for him to deal with things physically; it’s just whether technically he could get up to the level sooner rather than later and I;m really pleased that he’s managed to do that quickly.”

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