Exclusive: Inside player Scouting and 5 Possible transfer options Hearts are considering

Combative midfielder

Hearts have feistiness and fire in the middle already but lack a bit of height. In European competition, a bit of size and physical presence may be invaluable depending on the type of team we come up against.

I am seeking for someone similar to Peter Haring or Orestis Kiomourtzoglou. This position requires a tall central midfielder with good mobility.

I’ve chosen some leagues from which I believe Hearts can afford to attract players and that, in some ways, complement the Scottish league style. I screened by non-negotiable criteria for the type of player the club is looking for. I analyzed footage and data for many players who piqued my interest, and will do so for all players.

Who has come out on top? Someone from a league the club are very familiar with: League 1in England. And a familiar team: Peterborough United.

Peterborough United's Hector Kyprianou

Peterborough United’s Hector Kyprianou (Image: Getty)

Let me introduce 23-year-old Hector Kyprianou. The 1.89m Cypriot international has played 180 games in his brief career, 54 of which came this season. For starters, that’s a player that should be able to handle the high frequency of games expected next season. He’s been great off the ball, participating in a lot of duels and aerial duels with a high victory percentage. On the ball, he’s an excellent passer, both deep in the pitch and forward.

He has 85th percentile touches in the box, which is impressive for a defensive midfielder. In addition to his shooting figures, he has efficient movement on the pitch.


The club will prepare for the worst-case situation. Lawrence Shankland’s departure. The club’s star striker has won nearly every Player of the Year award available, and he is obviously the best striker in the league.

Even though there have been no proposals, it is difficult to imagine a summer without any interest. Searching for a proven goal scorer is difficult. Goal contributions are the most obvious measure to look for, therefore locating a hidden treasure is almost impossible. After scanning the world for something unusual, I discovered two players that piqued my interest.

First, I included 25-year-old Marko Regza on my shortlist. His goal scoring record for Latvian club Riga FC is outstanding. In 2024, he scored 12 goals and 3 assists in 16 league games, and had six appearances and one goal in Conference League qualifiers. With 33 goals and six assists in 58 games for the capital club, he has established himself in the national squad.

However, I feel the risk is too great. Even though there have been strikers in recent years who have had good moves on the back of performances in Latvia, like Andrej Ilic who moved from RFS to Vålerenga for €1.6m and then to Lille for €3.75m, Hearts perhaps require someone who is playing in a better league.

Daniel ParaschivDaniel Paraschiv (Image: Getty)

That’s when I changed my parameters and discovered a gamer from Romania. Daniel Paraschiv, a once-capped Romanian international, contributed 11 goals and four assists to FC Hermannstadt’s eighth-place finish, accounting for roughly one-third of the team’s goals this season.

With a goal conversion rate in the 72nd percentile, having the right creators around him may help him prosper. He’d have many more opportunities with a good Hearts side than he has this season, and he should be able to add more goals to his repertoire. Could a successful spell in Scotland land him back in the national team setup?

Winger/wide forward

My favorite type of player is a dynamic winger. I believe the club already has two players who suit the description, Yutaro Oda and Alan Forrest, but Hearts may look to add one more with a somewhat different set of characteristics.

The team would most likely be searching for someone who scores goals, provides plenty of opportunities, and is entertaining to watch. We travel to South Korea to investigate Lee Seung-Woo, who has previously been linked to Hearts.

Lee Seung-WooLee Seung-Woo (Image: Getty)

Seung-Woo has played for various clubs in Europe, including Hellas Verona, Sint-Truiden, Portimonense, and Barcelona, earning the nickname ‘Korean Messi’. He hasn’t quite lived up to his moniker, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for Hearts. A player of evident quality who appears to have restarted his career and will be out of contract at the end of the year.

The 26-year-old can play in both front three and flank positions, making him a good match for Steven Naismith’s approach. He has extensive experience as a central forward and might be deployed similarly to Kenneth Vargas.

This season, he is the best goal-scoring winger in Korea, contributing to his record of 32 goals and eight assists in three seasons for Suwon. He also has a fantastic xG. He has one of the most effective goal conversion rates. Despite his frequent shooting, he maintains high accuracy. Furthermore, he has a high xA figure, indicating a high assist rate. His passing ability is excellent across the board, with a lot of green on the graph.


Hearts will also likely be planning for another scenario where a key player departs. This time Alex Cochrane. He has impressed for a couple of years and if the club were thinking about cashing in on him this is the summer to do so.

Stephen Kingsley is now more of a centre-back than left-back and even though Kye Rowles can play on the left it may not be wise to remove them from one of the strongest central defences in the Premiership. Instead, in my opinion, find an out-and-out left-back that can play in a back four or as a wing-back and compete with James Penrice.

Hearts perhaps need more experience but that doesn’t mean a player in their thirties. I will look for a 22-28-year-old who’s played a significant number of games at a good level. For this, we take a trip to Africa for the first time.

Mohamed Ben HamidaMohamed Ben Hamida (Image: Getty)

Mohamed Ben Hamida has played at a high level for a long time now. Most football fans in Scotland are probably not aware of the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1, but it’s one of the best African leagues, full of quality players.

Esperance Tunis are one of the highest-ranked African clubs, regularly in the top five for African club coefficients. In his time at the club, Ben Hamida has made the African Champions League quarter-final four times, semi-final three times and this season lost the two-legged final by one goal, featuring in the competition an impressive 41 times. This experience in a continental competition could be ideal for Hearts ventures in Europe. He’s been capped six times for the nation that’s two places below Scotland in the world coefficients.

Going by his data he looks excellent. There’s a green majority across the graph, with Mohamed proving effective in defensive, on-the-ball, and off-the-ball areas. He’s a solid full-back, who if willing to give playing in Europe a chance, could go on to have a good career in Scotland.


Now I was tasked with finding a right-back for Hearts Standard a week prior to the news breaking about Gerald Taylor and his likely switch to Tynecastle Park. But it is a position that may need two options with Naismith keen to move between playing with a full-back and a wing-back depending on the opposition and game situation.

For this, we look to Switzerland. Let me introduce twice-capped Jhon Espinoza. The Ecuadorian spent some time in the Independiente del Valle youth system, one of the best youth systems in South America.

Across his career, he’s spent time in the top division in Ecuador, potentially the best league in South America outside of Brazil and Argentina. During this time, he played a couple of games in the Copa Sudamerica, the South American version of the Europa League. Since then, he’s played in MLS and most recently Switzerland with Lugano, where he’s played eight games between the Europa League qualifiers and the Conference League group stages.

His stats aren’t incredible, but that doesn’t worry me for two reasons. Firstly, the quality of the Swiss league is higher than the Scottish Premiership. They may not have a couple of huge clubs like Rangers and Celtic, but they have a higher average level across the league.

Secondly, I think the stats don’t show some of his best qualities. He’s a big, strong, fast and athletic full-back, with an excellent work rate. He’s a Scottish winger’s worst nightmare, and I think he’d slot in perfectly to the Scottish game and be a huge asset in Europe.


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