Nathanial Atkinson: Hearts agree deal for Australian right-back

Hearts are set to return to the Australian market for their latest new signing following a move for Melbourne City defender Nathaniel Atkinson.

Nathaniel Atkinson of Melbourne City runs with the ball during the A-League match against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on December 18, 2021 (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Nathaniel Atkinson of Melbourne City runs with the ball during the A-League match against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on December 18, 2021 (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

The Tynecastle side have reportedly agreed a deal with the A-League side and are in the process of securing a work permit, which they hope will arrive in time to allow the 22-year-old to feature in the Edinburgh derby against Hibs on January 3, if the match goes ahead as planned.

Described as an energetic right-back, Atkinson made his debut in the Melbourne City first team in 2017 and was a key player in their historic first A-League title success this year. City, managed by former Hearts defender Patrick Kisnorbo, have agreed to his departure.

Atkinson has represented Australia at under-20 and 23 level and is tipped for a future call-up to the senior Socceroos squad following an appearance at the recent Olympic Games in Japan.

Hearts have already raided the Australian top flight for emerging talent this season having secured the signing of midfielder Cameron Devlin from Newcastle Jets in the summer. Devlin has become an influential member of Robbie Neilson’s first team making 16 appearances to date.

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