BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Robbie Neilson insists Hearts are doing all they can to clear red tape after being hit with fresh delays to the arrival of Nigeria defender Juwon Oshaniwa.
The 24-year-old former Celtic target has agreed a move to Tynecastle but has been hit with visa problems in his homeland.
The Tynecastle outfit were assured the ex-FC Ashdod left-back would have been granted his paperwork by now but have been dealt more frustration, with the kick-off to the competitive season against Arbroath in the League Cup fast approaching on Thursday.
But Neilson insists the Nigerian will be worth the wait when he finally does arrive in the capital.
The head coach said: “We are still waiting for Juwon Oshinawa coming from Nigeria. We were told the visa would be processed in 15 days but that time is up now.
“Apparently there is a backlog but we’ve been told it could be today or tomorrow. We’ve been waiting and waiting.
“There is nothing we can do, we have done everything we can. We’ve been on the phone constantly with the embassy to push it through but it takes time over there.
“We gave him a programme for training, so hopefully he won’t be too far off when he gets here. It’s frustrating but he is worth the wait.”
Neilson was speaking after watching his side handed a football lesson by the multi-millionaire stars of Everton.
The Toffees eased to a 3-1 win after a hat-trick from £28 million striker Romelu Lukaku – including penalties either side of half-time – cancelled out Callum Paterson’s ninth-minute header from a Kevin McHattie corner.
Having come up against the likes of Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas, with Scotland striker Steven Naismith a late substitute, Neilson added: “I am really pleased Everton put out a full-strength squad.
“It’s great for our lads to realise how far they have to go to get to that level.
“They have guys in there who have 70 or 80 caps for England and are worth £20m or £30m. It was great to compete against them at all.
“I am pleased with where we are. It’s a long season so I don’t expect us to be firing for a few weeks yet but we are not far away.”