In the summer of 2016 Hearts brought in a talented Norwegian striker from Bulgarian football. Bjorn Maars Johnsen arrived at the club from Litex Lovech with a reputation as a hard-working and potent centre-forward. A dominating physical presence it was hoped he could fill the void left by Swedish striker Osman Sow after his money-spinning move to China.
On occasions, he looked up to the challenge. In a 2-0 win against Rangers, he bossed his opponents. It was a performance that looked to be the basis of a fine career in Edinburgh.
But his time with Hearts soon turned sour. After Robbie Nielsen left for MK Dons, things went wrong under new boss Ian Cathro.
His form dipped dramatically and, eventually, it became clear his relationship with Cathro was extremely sour.
In March of last year, he and the Hearts boss were engaged in a heated exchange in the tunnel during a clash with St Johnstone. The writing was on the wall for the rangey Norwegian who was duly sent packing in the summer.
Unfortunately for Hearts, he clearly had the ability to be a goal-getter in Scotland. Since his summer switch to ADO Den Haag in the Netherlands, the 26-year-old has been in fine form.
After a slow start, he has scored goals on a regular basis in recent months for the Dutch side. This season he has 19 goals in 34 games, including crucial strikes against the likes of Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. His recent form is extremely impressive, with nine goals in his last seven games.
Hearts’ top-scorer this season has been Kyle Lafferty, currently on 17 goals, and not many Hearts fans would swap the Northern Irishman for the Norwegian. But having both of them on the books could have made the Jambos a bigger threat going forward this season.
Instead, Den Haag have enjoyed the payoff of gambling on a player Hearts decided to discard last summer.
Staying at Hearts is best option for Leeds United linked Harry Cochrane
The 16-year-old has had a brilliant breakthrough campaign at Hearts this season.
Leeds United were seemingly in the hunt for Hearts midfielder Harry Cochrane this summer.
But the news this week suggests Cochrane is going nowhere.
According to the Scottish Sun, the teenager is set to sign a contract extension at Hearts, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2020.
Such a move would be the wise choice for the immensely talented midfielder.
Leeds United have a history of bringing through young players so, on the one hand, Cochrane could not pick a better team to join.
That said, at just 16 years of age, playing in the Championship looks a very unlikely scenario.
Considering the current influx of players into the under-23s under Victor Orta’s reign, Cochrane would have a battle on his hands to play regularly at that level.
Whilst Leeds have struggled in centre-midfield this season, summer improvements are likely. If Leeds bring in experienced options in the heart of midfield then Cochrane is again likely to miss out on playing regular first-team football.
Staying at Hearts is a far more sensible option. The teenager has played 16 times in the league for the Edinburgh side this season and that highlights how highly rated he is at Tynecastle.
Moving to Leeds would see him move into a youth team. Staying at Hearts will see the Scot playing regularly at a first-team level.
As tempting as a move to England – with a club the size of Leeds – must be, remaining at Hearts and playing on a regular basis is easily the best career choice for this precocious talent.
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