Hearts manager Craig Levein has hailed John Souttar as the “best centre-back in Scotland” and insists he can compete with any centre-forward in the country.
Souttar has been in impressive form for the Jambos and scored in the weekend win over Inverness Caley Thistle in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.
With reported interest from Rangers, Levein lauded the Scotand international – singling out his “fanastic” passing at the national stadium for plaudits.
“For me, he is the best centre-back in Scotland — for sure,” Levein told Football Scotland.
“He can do wonderful things with the ball — his passing on Saturday was fantastic — and he is now capable of competing physically with any centre- forward.”
Souttar is under contract at Tynecastle until 2022 so there’s no pressure on Hearts to sell the 22-year-old.
Since moving to Tynecastle in cut-price £100,000 move from Dundee United in 2016, Souttar has really grown into a formidable centre-back.
At only 22, he’s still got a lot of room to develop and cement his place in the national team and prove he’s one of – if not the – best defenders in Scottish football.
A sizeable offer could well tempt the Jambos’ hand into selling him this summer but if Hearts can keep Souttar at Tynecastle a bit longer then they’ll be looking at a far bigger windfall when Souttar does finally move on.