BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has welcomed his third summer signing to the club after recruiting Spanish striker Juanma Delgado on a three-year deal.
The 24-year-old officially put pen to paper on a contract at the club’s Riccarton training base after jetting into Edinburgh yesterday morning.
Subject to international clearance, Delgado moves to Tynecastle from Greek side Kalloni, where he scored seven goals last season.
At 6ft 2in, the former Levante and Asteras Tripoli marksman arrives at Hearts as a replacement for Genero Zeefuik after the Dutchman returned to Groningen at the end of last season following a successful loan spell.
Neilson, who has already recruited striker Gavin Reilly and defender Blazej Augustyn, said: “I’m delighted to get him. We spent a lot of time over the summer speaking to Juanma and meeting him. I’m pleased to get it done.
“We thought it was going to get done a few weeks ago and we had some issues with the contractual situation in Greece, but we finally got it over the line. Craig Levein (director of football) and Clive (Jagger), Juanma’s agent, did a lot of work on it.
“He’ll be a big asset for us. He brings physicality and he’ll hopefully bring goals as well. He’s a good player, technically very good, great in the air, and has good link-up play. And he’s a great character, so I’m pleased to get him.”
Delgado, whose full name is Juan Manuel Delgado Lloria, joins fellow countryman Miguel Pallardo in Gorgie after the midfielder recently signed a contract extension.
The forward said: “I’m very happy to be here and very anxious to get started. I can’t wait to get the season underway and work hard.
“The facilities are great. It’s a big club and I can see that now. I’ve been particularly impressed by the family feeling at the club and that was apparent from the moment that I arrived.
“I want to contribute as much as possible to the team and score goals. I try not to speak about my own strong points, that;s for other people to judge.
“But I’m 100 per cent with the staff and players here and I’ll give them everything that they demand of me.”