Hearts sign Calem Nieuwenhof - fee, length of contract, what McAvoy, Naismith, Savage and WSW had to say
The 22-year-old will complete the move to Tynecastle Park from Western Sydney Wanders in his homeland, subject to a successful medical, UK visa and work permit approval, and international clearance. He has agreed a four-year contract with Jambos, who have paid an undisclosed fee to the A-League outfit for his services.
Nieuwenhof is regarded as an all-action midfielder who impressed this season for the Wanderers. Hearts faced competition from other clubs in Europe for his signature, but the success of fellow Australians Kye Rowles, Cammy Devlin and Nathaniel Atkinson at the club will have played a part in the Socceroos Under-23 internationalist in choosing the cinch Premiership outfit over other options.
Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy said: “I’m really looking forward to getting Calem in and working with him. He’s earned rave reviews in the A-League and we think that he can come to Hearts and continue that form and make a real impact. Calem has the potential to both improve the team and himself, so it’s an exciting signing.”
Technical director Steven Naismith added: “We’ve watched Calem a lot and what has impressed me the most is his versatility in the middle of the park. He can fill a variety of different roles in there and his numbers prove that he excels in all of them. From the conversations we’ve had he seems like a great lad, he has a real desire to come here and succeed and so he should fit into the dressing room well. It’ll be a few days yet before he comes over and all the relevant paperwork is completed, then we’ll integrate him into the group and get him match ready.”
Sporting director Joe Savage said: “The Australian market is one we now know well, so when the opportunity came up to make a move for Calem, it was too good to turn down. We know exactly what we’re looking for in terms of targeting quality players. Sometimes that means having to be patient until the right player becomes available and in Calem we’ve got that, so we’re delighted to get him in.
“He has all the attributes to carry his success from the A-League over to Scottish football and we all feel that he’s more capable of doing so. Things are beginning to heat up on the transfer front and we’re hopeful we’ll have even more good news to share in the coming days.”
Western Sydney Wanderers offered Nieuwenhof a significant pay rise to remain in Australia. “Western Sydney Wanderers FC have confirmed that midfielder Calem Nieuwenhof will depart the club to join Heart of Midlothian FC in the Scottish Professional League for an undisclosed transfer fee,” a statement on their website read. “Nieuwenhof joined the Red & Black at the start of the 2022/23 Isuzu UTE A-Leagues season and quickly made an impact, becoming a formidable part of the Wanderers midfield all season.
“The 22-year-old made 27 appearances and scored four goals for the club in his most consistent season to date in the competition. The Wanderers would like to thank Calem for his very special contribution to the club this season and wish him all the best in Scotland.”