Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has detailed the discussions he had with sporting director Joe Savage and owner Ann Budge which saw the club complete the signing of Aaron McEneff in the January transfer window.
Neilson disclosed that he had talks with the duo about possibly bringing in some loan signings, but he wanted to bring the Irishman to the club on a permanent deal, as he feels he can have a role to play at Hearts for years.
That is what happened, as the midfielder signed from Shamrock Rovers on a two and a half year deal.
“A couple of loan options”
“There were a couple of loan options for midfield, but I spoke to Joe and Ann Budge about trying to bring someone in for the long-term, not just a stop-gap signing. McEneff is definitely that” he said (Edinburgh Evening News).
“He went to Spurs as a kid and then came back to Ireland. He’s done the hard yards, first of all at Derry and then down to the Republic of Ireland with Shamrock” Neilson continued.
Neilson feels that the player’s experience will be a vital asset to Hearts going forward.
“A really good age for us”
“He’s won leagues, won cups and played in Europe, so he’s got that experience. He is 25, a really good age for us and has played a lot of games” Neilson concluded.
McEneff will provide competition to the Hearts midfield, which has been one of the strong points of the team this season. Andy Irving in particular has stood out at times, and now Neilson has another player in McEneff that he sounds confident can make a big contribution.