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Let go by Hearts last summer, Bjorn Johnsen is now on fire

Mathew Nash

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.

(Photo by Trond Tandberg/Getty Images)

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.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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.

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