It’s finally over. The news Hearts fans have probably known for some time has been announced. Midfielder Arnaud Djoum will not be returning to Tynecastle, instead, he’s heading to Saudi Arabia with Al-Raed, as confirmed by his new team.
Djoum has been at Tynecastle since 2015, arriving from Lech Poznan. Since then, he has gone on to make over 100 appearances in maroon, putting in some special performances along the way.
Both parties will be glad this saga is done. Now Djoum and Hearts can look to their respective futures.
Al-Raed recruit Djoum held Hearts to ransom
In the end, it’s not the worst bit of news Hearts have ever received. Djoum’s been a great player overall in Gorgie, but you got the sense his time in the Scottish capital was coming to an end.
Recent performances at Tynecastle from Djoum often resulted in poor end quality, with the 30-year-old looking disinterested at times. He clearly had his eye on a move, but instead of confirming his intentions, he left Hearts waiting.
The player is entitled to weigh up his options but there’s a way to go about it. Djoum held out for a move as long as he could, whilst keeping Hearts close to hand as a side option. The Jambos should never have been held to ransom like that for a player.
As soon as it became clear Hearts were a backup option for Djoum, manager Craig Levein should have pulled the plug on any chances of a Gorgie return. Whether this happened or not is anyone’s guess.
Levein can now move on to fresh midfield targets. The engine room is packed at Hearts right now, but he could be doing with someone a bit more experienced in the middle.
Djoum on the other hand can move on to his new life in Saudi Arabia. It’s disappointing that he’s somewhat tarnished his Hearts reputation in the wake of this ordeal. He has been decent overall for the Gorgie side.