Uche Ikeapzu admits he has fallen in love with Hearts after the striker extended his contract with the Tynecastle outfit until summer 2022.
The burly centre-forward has become a from fans’ favourite after joining from English League Two side Cambridge United on an two-year deal last summer.
Ikpeazu scored four goals in his first ten matches before foot surgery ruled the 24-year-old out for four months.
And the marksman admits he had no hesitation in prolonging his stay in Gorgie.
He said: “Now is the right time to extend my contract here because I feel the love from the management, the staff and the fans.
“I feel as if the club’s given me a great platform to improve. I feel I have improved a lot and they have supported me through my injury as well.
“I love the club, the fans, the city and my teammates as well.
“After missing four months, they have supported me though that period and they know what I’m about.
“They have a lot of faith in me, even after my first few games after injury when I wasn’t playing my best.”
Speaking to Hearts TV, he added: “I think I’ve adapted really well and I’m playing with better players, the coaching staff is better as well but I’m learning a lot from the experienced pros like Steven Naismith, Macca (Steven MacLean) and Christophe Berra, guys who have played at a good level.
“I genuinely feel as if the best is yet to come, I feel I have not hit my best yet but I feel it.”
News of Ikpeazu agreeing fresh terms comes as a timely boost to manager Craig Levein after he revealed yesterday morning that forward Steven Naismith requires another knee operation and faces a race against time to play again this season.