Hearts to use Osman Sow money ‘to develop club as a whole’

Osman Sow said goodbye to the Hearts support prior to Sunday's derby match. Picture: SNS

Osman Sow said goodbye to the Hearts support prior to Sunday's derby match. Picture: SNS

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Hearts boss Robbie Neilson insists the Jambos will not fritter away their Osman Sow windfall on summer signings.

Swedish hitman Sow flew out to China on Monday as he closed in on a move to Henan Jianye.

The latest big-money switch between the UK and the cash-rich Chinese Super League is reported to be worth as much as £1.5million to his former Tynecastle employers.

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But Neilson says the Gorgie outfit will make sure the money is reinvested wisely by splitting it between the club’s youth ranks as well his first team.

He told Press Association Sport: “It’s done and dusted. Osman is away, he flew out yesterday to China and is now a Chinese Super League player.

“I spoke to him yesterday and I wished him all the best.

“He’s an example of what we want to do here. We want to develop our own players as well as those who come in. We develop them, get the best out of them while we can then let them move on to bigger and better things.

“It’s not for me to talk about the financial side of it though. The club will decide where the money goes. The whole ethos of the club is to do exactly what we did with Osman - develop them, bring money in and then take the next step.

“So Osman’s money will help the club develop as a whole, not just first-team wise. The academy and the whole infrastructure of the club will benefit.

“It’s really important that we don’t just chuck the good money we’re getting for Osman into the first team because it doesn’t work like that. The club has to be sustainable over time, not just two or three months.”

Hearts travel to Ross County on Wednesday night but are without the suspended defenders Blazej Augustyn and Igor Rossi while skipper Alim Ozturk is a doubt after limping out of Sunday’s Edinburgh derby draw with a knee injury.

That could hand recent recruit John Souttar his first appearance in maroon since moving from Dundee United.

Neilson said: “He has played a lot of games for Dundee United this season so he’s fit and ready.

“He’s a player that, yes, we have brought in to develop but we also want him to play first-team games and he will definitely have an involvement between now and the end of the season.

“He’s got all the technical ability but he just needs a bit of work on the basics. If we can get him there we will have a top-quality player on our hands.”

County are flying high in the Ladbrokes Premiership and have a League Cup final to look forward to and Neilson admits he is impressed.

“Never mind manager of the year, Jim should be a contender for manager of the decade the way he has turned things around at County,” said the Jambos head coach.

“He has gone from being bottom of the league 12 months ago to now sitting fourth, pushing for third and in the League Cup final.

“It’s been a great turnaround. I expect them to be top six, so it will be a tough test for us tomorrow.”

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