Sean Clare’s future in central midfield, says Hearts boss Craig Levein

Sean Clare’s Hearts future lies in central midfield and not out wide, according to manager Craig Levein. The Englishman’s improved awareness will see him play in the middle of the park with Arnaud Djoum and Olly Lee leaving.

Hearts attacker Sean Clare. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

Clare featured as a central midfielder in the tour of Ireland. With increased aggression, fitness and anticipation, Levein feels he is ready to embrace that role.

“Sean understands the game more now than he did when he arrived,” said Levein. “Every league has its own idiosyncrasies. Certain things important in some leagues aren’t as important in others.

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“Sean took a long time to understand that the ball changes hands in Scotland more than any other country. The game becomes more about anticipation and reading second-ball situations. I’ve noticed in our matches already that Sean has been much sharper in that regard. That will help him to be more effective.”

Hearts captured the 22-year-old after he left Sheffield Wednesday and he made 35 appearances in his first campaign, scoring six times. He was utilised in a wide role in most of those matches.

“I always planned to play him in central midfield, but if he’s not as aware of what the most important things are then he ends up playing out on the side,” explained Levein. “Now he does understand. He has an awful lot to offer, he’s a great kid.”