Garang Kuol completes loan move to Hearts

Subway Socceroos forward Garang Kuol has completed a loan move to Scottish Premiership side Heart of Midlothian from Newcastle United for the remainder of the 2022/23 season, subject to international clearance.

The 18-year-old officially joined the English Premier League outfit once the January transfer window opened after an agreement was reached in late September with the Central Coast Mariners.

Kuol, who made two appearances at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ against eventual finalists France and Argentina, was always expected to be loaned out by the Magpies to receive regular playing time and aid in his development.

Kuol will now switch Tyneside for Tynecastle in what is a massive coup for Hearts, who currently sit in third place in the league table behind Celtic and Rangers.

Viewed as one of the most promising forwards of his generation, Kuol joins a growing contingent of Australians plying their trade in Scotland and will reunite with three of his Subway Socceroos teammates in Cammy Devlin, Kye Rowles and Nathaniel Atkinson.

The prodigious talent has enjoyed a meteoric rise to professional football since making his A-League Men’s debut with the Mariners in April 2022, scoring six goals, and notching four assists in 18 games.

The dynamic attacker has also built a reputation of being able to consistently impact matches off the bench with his speed, guile, and undeniable quality, wreaking havoc for opposition defences.

Capped three times by the Green and Gold, Kuol made his senior international debut in a September friendly against New Zealand in Auckland, becoming the youngest Subway Socceroos since Harry Kewell in 1996.

In Qatar, he also became the youngest player since Pelé in 1958 to appear in the knockout stages of the major tournament after featuring against the Argentines in the Round of 16 clash.

"I'm very happy to be here and can't wait to play here in front of these amazing fans," Kuol said after signing.

"It's a great team, great club, great history, beautiful stadium with great fans and also the gaffer swayed me with his plans for me to come in and join the boys and my development path.

“I just can’t wait to score in front of these fans at Tynecastle and do a knee-slide celebration.

"Kye (Rowles) was at the Mariners when I was there and he's a great guy and Cammy (Devlin) I met him around September and have had a connection straight away."

Speaking about the move, Hearts Sporting Director Joe Savage said: “We’re thrilled to be able to get this deal done and welcome Garang to Gorgie.

“His talents were courted by some of the biggest clubs in the continent when he was playing in Australia and he went on to play in the World Cup finals, so to be able to bring such an exciting prospect to Hearts speaks volumes about the appeal of our club.

“I have to extend a big thank you to Kwaku Mensah and Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi and Dan Ashworth for placing their trust in us and helping to bring Garang here.

“We’re all really looking forward to Garang pulling on the maroon jersey and I know our fans will be excited by him too.”

Hearts hosts St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday morning AEDT.