BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Nigeria internationalist Juwon Oshaniwa has promised Hearts he is close to full fitness as he prepares to fly into Scotland in the next 48 hours to complete his move to Tynecastle.
The 24-year-old full-back has verbally agreed a switch to Tynecastle but his arrival has been delayed by red-tape in his homeland as he awaited approval of his visa.
But the former Celtic signing target, who has been with FC Ashdod in Israel for the last three years, has now received his paperwork and will jet in later this week to complete negotiations.
The defender is not expected until Thursday at the earliest but when he does arrive Hearts are expecting him to be brought up to speed quickly.
Neilson said: “It’s just a process that takes forever. We had to wait here to get the visa granted and then we sent the documents over there.
“They had been granted but they don’t tell you that, they had to post them out to him, and it just seemed to take forever.
“He was just waiting for the postman and now we can get him on a flight.
“He’s been training over there, so he thinks he’ll be a week to 10 days away from full fitness, so it’s looking positive.”
Meanwhile, Neilson has revealed how words of wisdom from Everton counterpart Roberto Martinez are helping to inspire him ahead of the new season.
The pair spent time chatting before and after Sunday’s friendly between the sides at Tynecastle, which the Toffees comfortably won 3-1.
The star-studded visitors from the English Premier League dished out a lesson on the pitch, thanks to a hat-trick from their £28 million striker, Romelu Lukaku, and Neilson also relished the opportunity to pick Martinez’s brains off the pitch.
And he insists he and his players can be spurred on by Martinez and his Goodison Park side as they bid emulate the Spaniard’s spells with Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and now Everton.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s League Cup tie against Arbroath, Neilson said: “Roberto was great, he was really good with us.
“He spent a lot of time with us before the game and then after the game he came into the office and we spent some time just having a blether.
“It was nice, it’s nice to meet people like that, and he was very open about his ideas on the game.
“Also about how he built things up at Swansea and then at Wigan and at Everton. It was good to meet him.
“It’s nice to hear he was complimentary about us after the game. He’s a nice guy.
“The way he played with Swansea and Wigan, and I think the way he’s trying to play with Everton as well, he wants to pass the ball and that’s similar to us.
“We want to pass the ball and we want to try and develop young players, and they’re a team you would aspire to.”