Hearts star: Scottish football '˜more exciting' than English lower leagues

New Hearts signing Olly Lee has hit back at critics of Scottish football, claiming it is more exciting than the English game.

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The midfielder arrived in Edinburgh on a three-year deal from Luton earlier in the summer, despite earning promotion to League One last season.

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The likes of Dylan McGeouch and Adam Rooney have made the move in the opposite direction, joining lower-league sides in England which has seen questions raised over the quality of the Ladbrokes Premiership and the ability to compete financially, but Lee said he had no doubts about the move up north.

Olly Lee moved from Luton Town to Hearts this summer. Picture: SNS

“I came up to see the stadium and the fan base and I was blown away by that,” he said.

“It would have been the easier option to stay at Luton but I heard the manager’s vision and then I spoke to Ann (Budge, chairwoman) and came to the Edinburgh derby at the end of the season and that’s when I made my mind up.

“It was a no-brainer, it was just a case of ‘when can I sign’. It’s a much bigger scale up here.

“Maybe people say the standard is similar, but you still have games with Celtic and Rangers, the Edinburgh derbies - they are games you want to play in as a footballer and the ones that really excite me.

“Without being disrespectful to League One, there were no games I was really excited for.”

Lee is one of 13 new players to sign for Craig Levein at Hearts this summer as the Jambos look to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-placed finish last season.

The club has already set lofty targets for the campaign ahead, and Lee is desperate to return the four-time champions back to where they belong.

He said: “We haven’t set out targets, but Hearts is a massive club and is a European club.

“We want to be finishing, in my eyes, in the top four and the European places, and playing in semi-finals and finals.

“It’s about putting Hearts back on the map.”