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4 goals, 3 assists: Hearts picked up a bargain in Uche Ikpeazu

Mathew Nash

Hearts take on Rangers this weekend, hoping to carry on the form that has taken them to the top of the Scottish Premiership. A win at Ibrox would heap more domestic misery on Steven Gerrard’s men. It would also be great to get one over Kyle Lafferty, who left Hearts for his beloved Rangers in the transfer window.

Hearts may also have their bargain arrival from the summer back in time to help them do so.

Uche Ikpeazu arrived at Tynecastle on a free transfer from Cambridge United in the summer. The 23-year-old arrived with a decent reputation from his time in England’s lower leagues. However, the former Reading youngster has outdone initial predictions.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND – AUGUST 25: Craig Dawson (R) of West Bromwich Albion fouls Uche Ikpeazu of Port Vale during the Capital One Cup Second Round match between West Bromwich Albion and Port Vale at The Hawthorns on August 25, 2015 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)

In his first nine games for the club, he has scored four goals and assisted three. A foot injury stopped him in his tracks recently but Hearts are hopeful he will return against Rangers this weekend.

Signed on a free transfer from Cambridge, there is no doubt the 6ft 3in striker has been a bargain. His finishing has never been a strong suit in his game. However, his strength and hold-up play make him a potent threat, hence his assist tally in the Scottish top-flight of three in five games.

Earlier this season Celtic found him too hot to handle. Hearts will hope he is fighting fit to have the same impact on their Old Firm rivals this Sunday.

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