BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Former Belgium youth internationalist Arnaud Djoum is weighing up a move to Hearts after being offered a contract by the capital club.
The 26-year-old, who is a free agent after leaving Polish champions Lech Poznan in the close season, spent last week on trial with the Jambos.
He impressed head coach Robbie Neilson, who is keen to add depth and physicality to his midfield pool.
Djoum was formally offered a deal at the weekend and has returned to Belgium to consider his options.
Born in Cameroon, he has previously turned out for FC Brussels, Anderlecht, Roda JC, Akhisar Belediyespor and would become Hearts’ seventh signing of the season.
Neilson confirmed: “I have spoken to Arnaud and we have offered him a contract. It is up to him whether he wants to sign it.
“He has gone back to Belgium to speak to his family and speak to his agent. We will take it from there.
“He is a good player and he will add value to us. It’s now up to him whether he wants to come on our terms.”
Neilson was speaking in the aftermath of Hearts’ comprehensive 3-1 defeat against league leaders Aberdeen yesterday.
It was a third consecutive defeat for the Jambos as they were put to the sword by a David Goodwillie brace and a stunning solo goal by Niall McGinn.
And Neilson believes the recent run is a reality check for Hearts, who hit back through Igor Rossi at Tynecastle.
Neilson continued: “We switched off three times and lost the game. End of story. When you don’t concentrate, even for 30 seconds, you can get punished – and we were punished severely.
“I think this [run] is a learning curve for us all; players, staff and fans. When you win the first five games, people think ‘we’ll do this, we’ll do that’.
“But we’re under no illusions. We are a Championship team that got promoted. Eighteen months ago we were wondering if we were going to go out of business.
“So the players need to learn to handle playing in big games with big expectations again. We still have a long way to go.”