BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Robbie Neilson believes Hearts are ‘lucky’ to have the ‘first-class’ Arnaud Djoum in their ranks.
The Belgian was the Jambos’ match-winner in the 1-0 win over Partick Thistle on Saturday when his first-half header separated the sides at Tynecastle.
The 26-year-old has represented his country at under-19 and under-20 level and arrived in Scotland earlier in the season after a short spell with Polish champions Lech Poznan and with a background of top-flight football in the Netherlands with Roda.
The attacking midfielder has since made a big impression at Hearts, netting six times in 22 appearances, and in December extended by another 18 months the short-term deal he originally signed.
And Neilson is thrilled with the way Djoum has proven his quality in the Scottish top-flight.
He said: “We were lucky to get him. He was looking for a club in the summer, he had a couple of trials at places and it didn’t work out for him, and he came to us just after the window shut.
“He’s done fantastically well, we renewed his contract because it had only been short-term and you can see why we did that.
“We played him as a number 10 against Partick and I think that’s his preferred position, his technique and his vision is first-class.
“I knew he was a good player. He was at Lech Poznan last year and played in the Turkish top-flight (with Akhisar Belediyespor), so we were lucky to get him.
“It was kind of similar to Miguel Pallardo last year, in that he was waiting for a bigger club to come in but there was nothing there so he decided to come to us.
“We were the next ones down and we were lucky to get him.”