New Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves thrilled to be reunited with Ian Cathro and Austin MacPhee after becoming club’s NINTH January recruit



New Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves admits he is delighted to be reunited with Ian Cathro and Austin MacPhee after completing his £170,000 move from Anorthosis Famagusta .

The Portuguese marksman put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year deal on Monday evening to become head coach Cathro’s ninth January recruit.

On a busy day at Tynecastle, Goncalves was unveiled just hours after Greek pair Alexandros Tziolis and Anastasios Avlonitis penned contracts that run until the end of the season.

(pic: Hearts FC)

Goncalves played under Cathro and assistant head coach MacPhee at Rio Ave and St Mirren respectively and insists the chance to work with the pair was too good to turn down.

The 25-year-old, who scored nine goals for Cypriot outfit Famagusta during the first half of the season, said: “Working with Ian again was part of the appeal of coming to Hearts.

“He’s a very intelligent guy. I worked with him in Portugal. He was the second coach. He was very intelligent already at this time and he made a lot of tactics in training and you could see he was going far.

“I know Ian, I know Austin too and it’s a good reason to come. They like me and I like them also, so it makes the job easier.”

The forward scored eight goals in 16 appearances for St Mirren in 2013 and even helped the Buddies clinch the League Cup in a Hampden victory over Hearts.

Goncalves, who is set to make his debut in tomorrow’s visit of Rangers, added: “The job I have is to score goals.

“It’s what I like to so and I will try to score here also. I like this, I like when the stadium is full. I love it.

“I think I play better when the stadium is full so I can’t wait to go to the stadium and play in front of the Hearts fans.”

Earlier in the day, defensive midfielder Tziolis, 31, and centre-half Avlonitis, 27, both put pen to paper on deals until the end of the season.

Former Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen and Monaco midfielder Tziolis, capped 62 times for his country, joins from POAK in his homeland.

Centre-half Avlonitis joins from Olympiacos but the Under-21 cap spent part of last season on loan at Austria outfit Sturm Graz.

Cathro has overseen a huge January overhaul at Tynecastle having already signed defenders Aaron Hughes, Lennard Sowah and Andraz Struna, midfielders Malaury Martin and Moha El Ouriachi and striker Dylan Bikey.