Hearts manager Craig Levein is ready to pitch Manchester United loanee Demetri Mitchell into next week’s Scottish Cup tie against Hibs. Levein stressed he would have no qualms handing the 21-year-old a Tynecastle debut in an Edinburgh derby.
Mitchell’s six-month loan deal is designed to solve Hearts’ left-back problem and Levein expects the new recruit to be ready for action. He played for the first time in yesterday’s friendly with Nuremberg having arrived at Hearts’ Spanish training camp on Friday.
“I have no qualms about playing Demetri in the derby,” said Levein. “We don’t have a natural left-back and we haven’t brought him here to sit on the bench. So, provided he’s OK next week, then I pretty much think he will be involved.
“This is Demetri’s first spell of regular first-team football so there will be things he has to learn. He has played for Man Utd’s first team but this will be regular football. He is a young player so he will make some mistakes, I’m sure, but I think our supporters will like him. Usually when you come in as a 21-year-old you would be one of the youngest but in our dressing room that makes you a senior player.”
Levein explained how United officials helped facilitate the loan agreement, intended to be beneficial for both clubs and the player.
“We knew about Demetri playing for Man United’s Under-23s and, although my initial thought was to get a permanent left-back, I couldn’t find one,” admitted Levein.
“When his name came up we were interested and things probably aligned at the right time because they felt he was ready for a loan. We made the first enquiry and United were very helpful both in terms of getting the player and the financial side of it.”