Newcastle starlet Garang Kuol signs for Hearts: when he can play, Robbie Neilson delight, Joe Savage comments

Hearts have completed the loan signing of Australia internationalist Garang Kuol from Newcastle in what is a significant coup for the Tynecastle.
Garang Kuol has signed for Hearts for the rest of the season.Garang Kuol has signed for Hearts for the rest of the season.
Garang Kuol has signed for Hearts for the rest of the season.

The 18-year-old forward was signed by the Magpies at the start of the year from Central Coast Mariners, with their manager Eddie Howe keen for him to be put out on loan to get first-team experience during the second half of the season. Kuol was wanted by clubs in the English Championship but after visiting Hearts’ Oriam training base last week, the player was convinced that a move to Edinburgh is the best for his career.

The Egypt-born teenager, whose parents hail from South Sudan, became the youngest Australian ever to play for the Socceroos at the World Cup at the end of last year after making two substitute appearances against France and Australia. Blessed with pace and an eye for goal, he will go into Hearts’ matchday squad for Friday night’s cinch Premiership match, subject to international clearance.

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“It’s fantastic news that Garang has committed himself to Hearts for the next six months,” Hearts manager Robbie Neilson said. “It’s no secret that we were extremely interested in him and he came up for a look around last week. He was impressed with what he saw and what we’re trying to do here, which is pleasing. We’re getting a player who is by no means the finished article but there is a lot of talent there – you don’t get called up to and play in the World Cup for nothing. He’ll offer us new options going forward as we look to continue our good form and continue to make progress in the league and in the Scottish Cup, and we’re really looking forward to working with him.”

The club's sporting director Joe Savage said: “We’re thrilled to be able to get this deal done and welcome Garang to Gorgie. His talents were courted by some of the biggest clubs in the continent when he was playing in Australia and he went on to play in the World Cup finals, so to be able to bring such an exciting prospect to Hearts speaks volumes about the appeal of our club. I have to extend a big thank you to Kwaku Mensah and Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi and Dan Ashworth for placing their trust in us and helping to bring Garang here. We’re all really looking forward to Garang pulling on the maroon jersey and I know our fans will be excited by him too.”